• Senate urged to level playing field for renewables

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    A senior policy adviser for a think tank focused on low-carbon development initiatives and fair climate policy urged the Senate Energy Committee on Wednesday to create more opportunities for renewables in the country’s energy market.

    “Opening a level playing field for diverse energy solutions reduces the country’s exposure to fluctuating prices and dependency in the international fossil-fuel market, guaranteeing the country’s long-term energy security,” Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities (ICSC) Senior Policy Adviser Pete H. Maniego said during the Senate energy committee hearing.

    “Renewable energy offers sustainable, stable, and affordable power that is in line with the Philippine government’s commitment to provide the power needs of the country and its development goals,” Maniego added.

    ICSC is advocating the shift from a cost-based to a price-based approach in power contracts, not only for renewable energy sources but also for all technologies and fuel sources.

    Maniego, the former chair of the National Renewable Energy Board (NREB), noted that with the right policy support, renewable energy would not only enable industrialization but also mobilize far greater investments.

    He said a competitive playing field in the energy market promoted by the Duterte government would bolster its objectives for industrialization.

    “A critical part of the solution is to eliminate the ‘first-to-complete, first-to-be-approved’ system that unsurprisingly favors bigger companies and discriminates against smaller players. Subsequently, nurturing a diverse market that offers an ever-widening array of renewable energy services and products will attract a new wave of investments,” Maniego said.

    lCSC also proposed that the NREB be empowered with budget and personnel to effectively accomplish its functions, foremost of which is to identify the best energy strategy for the country.

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