Greenpeace launches ‘Philippine Energy Revolution’ report

Feature story - August 8, 2008
Renewable energy can provide as much as 57% of the Philippines’ energy needs by 2030, according to a new report launched today by Greenpeace. 'Energy [R]evolution: A Sustainable Philippine Energy Outlook' is the first ever comprehensive energy strategy drawn up for the Philippine setting which shows how renewable energy can become the country’s energy backbone-all that is needed is the political will to transform vision into reality.

Majestic view of the wind farm in Ilocos Norte, around 500 kilometers north of Manila. The 25 megawatt wind farm, owned and operated by Danish firm Northwind, is the first of its kind in Southeast Asia. According to Greenpeace and the Global Wind Energy Council, the Philippines is poised to become the leading wind power producer in Southeast Asia with potential of up 70,000 MW of clean renewable energy from wind. The value of the global market for wind turbines is predicted to expand from the current 8 billion euros to an 80 billion euro market by 2020.

"The Philippines needs an Energy Revolution--an innovative change in the way we use, produce, and distribute energy.  Greenpeace today is presenting the Philippine government with a concrete action plan to make that Energy Revolution possible.  This Energy Revolution will provide the country with secure and affordable energy while maintaining the country's economic development.  It will steer the country away from the use of harmful, climate change-causing fossil fuels, and toward harnessing the country's vast reserves of free, clean and safe renewable energy, " said Greenpeace Southeast Asia Executive Director Von Hernandez.  "The government must make this revolution happen now.  To begin with, the Senate must finally pass a Renewable Energy Bill with mechanisms that will ensure the fast and effective deployment of

renewable energy technologies."

According to Greenpeace, the spiraling costs of fossil fuels and the rampaging and worsening impacts of largely fossil fuel-propelled climate

change warrant a serious strategic reconsideration of the energy pathway so far chosen by the country.  Renewables, along with the smart use of

energy, must be harnessed in a great scale in order to strengthen the country's energy independence and to mitigate climate change impacts.

Read the entire report in .PDF

The report goes as far as to detail how, through the Energy Revolution, it will be possible for the country to generate as much as 70% of its

electricity needs from renewable energy by 2050, with 'new' renewables, such as wind, biomass, geothermal and solar energy, contributing 58% of

this capacity.  However, the right decisions in energy infrastructure that will make all this possible need to happen now.  To catalyze the

Energy Revolution, the government must immediately phase out all subsidies for fossil fuel technologies and internalize their external

costs; set out legally-binding targets for renewable energy and new laws to implement those targets; provide defined and stable returns for RE

investors; and guarantee priority access to the grid for renewables.

"More aggressive energy efficiency measures should also take place. The government's plan to ban incandescent bulbs is a good first step. However, efficiency efforts should not end there.  Congress, together with the Department of Energy, must implement strict energy efficiency efforts for all energy consuming sectors, such as transport, buildings, and appliances," said Jasper Inventor of Greenpeace.

But the passage of the RE Bill remains key to this transformation.  At present, renewable energy in the Philippines is up against a market which heavily favors the use of fossil fuels such as coal. In order for RE technologies to gain a foothold in the Philippine power sector, it is both necessary and urgent to adopt a Renewable Energy Law that genuinely  promotes the massive utilization of clean energy even as it secures the energy security and sovereignty of the country and provides great environmental benefits to the Philippines.

"As one of the countries most vulnerable to climate change, the Philippine's must acknowledge its responsibility in actively addressing climate change through win-win mitigation options. Greenpeace is calling on our political leaders to make the Energy Revolution a reality.  Today, we must lay down the foundation for a sustainable energy future for the Philippines that not only addresses environmental issues but also provides a stable, predictable and secure energy sector. The Energy Revolution does not only make environmental sense, it makes economic sense as well," said Hernandez.

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