Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi on Wednesday rejected calls for a total ban on coal in the power generation mix following the imposition of the moratorium on new coal-fired power plants.
“We are doing what is good for our country. If we immediately stop coal, where do we get the power?” Cusi said.
Cusi said the DOE advisory to investors on the moratorium was being finalized but he expected the new government policy to usher in new investments in other sources of energy.
“There will be opening for other sources of energy to take the place of coal. This change in policy, we are doing this based on the power needs of the country,” the energy chief said.
“We’ve seen we already have enough supply of baseload. We are looking at more flexible sources like gas, geothermal, hydro and others,” he said.
Cusi said he was not expecting any problem in supply of power or electricity because of the moratorium.
“We are just balancing our sources,” he said, adding that the lifting of the moratorium, “will depend on whatever the prevailing situation in the future and what is needed by the country.”
Cusi said the Department of Energy would no longer accept new coal-fired power applications.
“We are not going to accept any coal applications…Those who have already come in and are already committed, we are going to process that but they should use clean coal technology,” Cusi said.
There are 3,436 megawatts of committed coal-fired power plants in Luzon, according to the latest report of the DOE.
Cusi last week declared a moratorium on endorsements for greenfield or new coal power plants following a periodic assessment of the country’s energy requirements.
He said this would help build a more sustainable power system that would be resilient in the face of structural changes in demand and will be flexible enough to accommodate the entry of new, cleaner and indigenous technological innovations.
“While we have initially embraced a technology neutral policy, our periodic assessment of our country's energy requirements is paving the way for innovative adaptations in our policy direction,” Cusi said earlier.