More RE investments needed for COP21 goals

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THE Philippines should continue to invest in renewable energy to meet the climate goals set out in the 2015 Paris Climate Conference (COP21) in which the country is a signatory.

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“We need more investments in renewable energy for the country to reach its carbon commitments,” said Dexter Y. Tiu, chief executive of Repower Energy Development Corporation (REDC), as part of the company’s celebration of World Sustainable Energy Days.

REDC is a renewable energy company utilizing breakthrough technologies for energy production through hydropower that promote environmental sustainability.

Under COP21, 196 countries including the Philippines agreed on the goal to cut carbon emissions in order to keep global warming this century below 2 degrees Celsius and build a carbon-free world economy in the second half of the century.

Developed countries with existing renewable energy plants have also committed to further investments in renewable technologies.

With the Philippines’ buoyant urban and economic growth, energy requirements are growing at a rate that is difficult to fulfill, REDC noted. This can be solved by increasing investments in renewable energy to fill the gap and at the same time cut the country’s carbon emissions, it said.

In 2008, the government enacted the Renewable Energy Act to promote renewable energy, but the country is still struggling to boost the industry because investing in renewables is more costly than investing in coal and fossil fuel.

Tiu said the debate between advocates of traditional sources of energy and renewables should not be a matter of choosing between a vibrant economy and a healthy environment.

“Some companies in the country are now using energy from renewable sources like solar, geothermal, and hydro power plants. For them, it’s not just a strategy to sustain future energy needs but also a business policy.”

The Philippines has a strong potential capacity in renewable energy, which makes up a significant portion of the 12,128 megawatt daily energy generation, or a minimum of 30 percent of the country’s total energy source, indicating great potential for growth.

As part of its effort to accelerate its investments in renewables, REDC recently acquired Philippine Power and Development Company (Philpodeco), owner of the country’s three oldest operating mini-hydropower plants in Laguna, to increase the plants’ output after a considerable P300 million overhaul.

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