PH renewable energy projects seen to continue under Duterte

MANILA – The Philippines is seen to continue its leadership in renewable and sustainable energy under President-elect Rodrigo Duterte, Rachel Kyte, special representative of the UN Secretary-General for Sustainable Energy for All Initiative, said on Wednesday.

Kyte said the Philippines has seen much development in terms of green power.

“In many middle income and fast growing countries like the Philippines, we’ve seen more energy contracts being awarded to renewable energy at very competitive prices. With the tumbling price of renewable energy, it is now equivalent or even cheaper than coal in many economies,” she said.

Outgoing President Benigno Aquino III helped push for global unity before the COP21 in Paris, leveraging the Philippines’ experience as one of the most affected nations from climate change to rally global unity behind the clean energy commitment.

“We’re very interested in looking and supporting the new government to continue that pathway so the Philippines can continue to be a very strong global voice,” said Kyte.

Kyte is the keynote speaker at the Asia Clean Energy Forum 2016 hosted by the Asian Development Bank (ADB).

ADB president Takehiko Nakao opened the forum with a call for strategic plans for implementation, so that the commitments under COP21 and the sustainable development goals can be met swiftly.

These goals include the reduction of carbon emissions to ensure global warming does not exceed 1.5 degrees Celsius.

Nakao said there are three areas that should be focused upon: consistent energy policy including the reduction of policies favoring fossil fuels such as subsidies; support of innovative technology to boost climate control and economic growth; and financing of clean energy initiatives.

Kyte, meanwhile, said there are five things that need stressing: efficiency first; access at the forefront; coherent policy; understand risks; and leave nobody behind.

Multiple players in the private sector have taken the initiative to focus purely on renewable energy including First Gen Corporation, which has vowed not to invest in any form of power other than renewables. Its operations include leading geothermal power company Energy Development Corp.

Source: ABS CBN. Date: June 8 2016

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