MANILA – House Minority Leader and Quezon 3rd District Representative Danilo Suarez on Wednesday proposed the construction of more power plants in preparation for a “looming” power shortage in the country.
Existing coal-fired power plants were outdated, insufficient and vulnerable to transmission failures that could cause unexpected power shutdowns and thin reserves especially in the Luzon grid, Suarez said in a press briefing.
During the recently concluded plenary deliberations on the 2019 budget of the energy department, Suarez proposed the construction of power plants similar to the 1200-megawatt coal-fired facility in Atimonan, Quezon, downplaying concerns over the environmental impact of such infrastructure.
“Technology is available to clean coal emissions. This power plant in Atimonan, to our understanding, is an ultra super critical power plant. They are the first to utilize H.E.L.E. (high efficiency, low emissions technology)," Suarez said.
He added that the transition to an entirely renewable energy structure would take time.
“An acceptable interim is to allow the construction and operation of power plants that produce cheap energy and utilize clean technology,” he said.
Suarez's proposal came amid initiatives to lessen the country's reliance on carbon-emitting coal-fired plants and shift to greater use of renewable energy.
The Philippines earlier ratified the historic Paris climate agreement, which aims to limit global warming below 2 degrees Celsius to avert an irreversible rise in Earth's temperature.