Power Industry 101.3

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By Jonathan Llanes

The Maryknoller

Thursday, May 29, 2014


FOR our final column on the power industry sector, let me dwell on the importance of using renewable energy such as hydro and geothermal power plants.

Our EPIRA Professor Roswaldo Del Mundo pointed out in one of our open forum, the high potential for electric power cooperatives or distributors to invest in the hydro and geothermal plants as a source for the distribution of electricity.

Did you know that at present and compared to the European countries notwithstanding the issues of climate change, the Philippine potential for the use of renewable energy such as hydro and geothermal is pegged at 40%.

Prof. Wally's foresight is, if the European countries are dreaming of a 20% supply of renewable energy come 2020, the Philippine maximization of it's hydro and geothermal plants can reach as high as 60% aside from being self sufficient in this types of renewable energies considered to be one of the highest in the world.

So, considering Benguet and Cordillera as being the water cradle of the North, what would be the potential investment of Benguet Electric Cooperative if it would be able to access the use of these abundant resource that eventually represents a cheaper cost of electricity for it's consumers?

Well if you do the numbers, the potential is very very positive. If Beneco was given the option to invest in hydro and geothermal, then a contract signed at the right price will resort to quality service meaning say, "It's just doing the right thing".

However, transmission and generation companies that would want to cash in on the distribution sector through acquisition have and will do anything and everything for cooperatives not to have a chance to invest in their business.

Why? It's because, the transmission and generation sectors would then loose a very large market as cooperatives like Beneco can now choose their own use of supply.

Imagine Beneco not investing on the wholesale electricity spot market that uses coal fired power plants because of the abundance of it's own hydro and geothermal plants? Whew, taking the shoe on the other foot, then business is not good for the transmission and generation companies.

I asked Prof. Wally that if ever the Cordillera region becomes autonomous, how would this affect the electric power industry?

Prof Wally answered "Cordillera will be a major player in this industry since it has the renewable resources that others do not have".

But if the cooperatives nationwide would have a common, supportive and coordinative stand such us the use of run-off river for it's source, then the oligarchic monopolies will definitely succumb to the cooperatives.

And what a way to end our series of column on the electric power industry. Our own power distributor or the Benguet Electric Cooperative must now look at the potential for our hydro in Benguet and the Cordillera for the very reason that, according to a study given by Prof Wally, "In this part of the world, there will be lots of water".

So, evidently! Hail to Beneco and invest on hydro and geothermal resources in Benguet and the Cordillera!

Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on May 30, 2014.

Opinion

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