Senator Legarda spells out measures for cheaper renewable energy

LAPU-LAPU CITY, Cebu, Oct. 13 (PNA) — The government could carry out several measures that would promote the use of renewable energy in the country without raising power rates, a Philippine legislator has said.

In an interview on Tuesday, Senator Loren Legarda said the government could arrange for investments in the energy sector, such as technical assistances and grants from wealthy countries.

The government, she said, could also look at public-private partnerships (PPP) to push renewable energy projects that will not jack up the prices of power once they become operational.

She also indicated that the government could allocate money or subsidize climate proofing energy infrastructure without passing the costs to consumers.

Another interesting area, which has not been discussed in the ongoing meeting here on energy, is the Small Power Utilities Group or SPUG in off-grid areas, she said.

“We (could) subsidize (them). They use very expensive diesel, which comes from far sources,” she said, noting that sometimes the cost reaches P22 per liter.

Legarda however said that if the government could come up with a hybrid, a combination of hydroelectric, solar and diesel, power prices would likewise be reduced.

“Bababa ang source ng energy mix and the universal charge being charged to consumers will also drop,” she said.

Once such an arrangement is approved by the Department of Energy and the Energy Regulatory Commission, the universal charge will also go down, she added.

Legarda was the keynote speaker during the 12th Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Energy Ministers’ Meeting here on Tuesday.

She pushed for more investments on cleaner energy sources, energy resiliency against natural calamities, and the attainment of sufficient supply of electricity. (PNA)