Renewable Energy Bill Gained Approval

Finally, House Bill 4193 or the Renewable Energy Resources Act of 2007 was approved by congress on its final reading last Wednesday.

The Bill was authored by Rep. Mikey Arroyo – chairman of the House Committee on Renewable Energy, and Rep Luis Villafuerte – Vice Chairman.

The Bill seeks to discover, develop, utilize and commercialize renewable energy sources which are abundant in the country primarily to combat the wild swing of fuel prices in the local and international market.

Meanwhile, Greenpeace has been asking the congress to pass the bill to stop climate change and global warming. Renewable energy sources are sustainable and environment –friendly as these emit only a little or no greenhouse gases. Developed countries in the U.S and Europe had already passed their own Renewable Energy Laws since the early 90’s.

It is reported that the country can generate 4,531 MW from geothermal; 13,097 MW from hydro; 277 MMBFOE from biomass; 5.0-5.1 KWH/m2/day from solar; 76,600 MW from wind and 170,000 MW from ocean. If we can utilize all these renewable energy sources, the country can attain “60% self-sufficiency” and gain billions in energy savings in the years to come.

The Bill directs the Department of Energy (DOE), the National Power Corporation (NAPOCOR) and other government agencies to develop power-generation facilities to propagate renewable energy and interconnect these sources to the main grid or transmission systems.

Speaker Prospero Nograles addressed the Senate to immediately pass a parallel bill to make it into law.

On the other hand, Bayan Muna Representative Teddy Casino said that ”the country’s deregulation policy in the power sector is a major stumbling block to the development of renewable energy sources.”

Well, now that NAPOCOR and TRANSCO is almost privately-owned, the government has little or no control over their preferences in energy sources. I just hope that private “local” investors would see the advantages of renewable energy sources to the environment as well as to the Philippine economy and finally decide to invest in renewable energy.

It is uncertain, though, know how long the Renewable Energy Bill will finally become a law. Some members of the Congress are questioning some of its provisions, especially the one that gives foreigners the right to explore the country's natural resources.

While the Bill is waiting for ammendments, a coal-fired power plant is proposed to be developed in Barangay Ingore in Ilo-Ilo. Greenpeace launched a Climate Defenders Camp near the proposed coal plant site to opposed the construction of the coal-fired power plant.

The Climate defenders Camp set by Greenpeace "served as a center to raise public awareness on the ill effects of coal-fired power plants, climate change, and its dangerous impacts and solutions such as Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency."

My heart bleeds upon learning that peaceful Greenpeace activists were harassed in the camp.

Panay Power Corporation (PPC)is the proponent of the 165 MW coal-fired power plant in Ili-Ilo City.

Greenpeace Launched Climate Defenders Camp in Ilo Ilo City

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