Those dirty, aged and disastrous coal powered plants (2 of 3 parts)-A A +A
By Dr. Bob Ocio
Isyo ug Servicio
Sunday, October 27, 2013
ARE the coal plants or even the diesel plants the cheaper, healthy and sustainable options? Not really on both the short term and the long term if we listen to the experts.
Engr. Dave Tauli, former senior vice-president of Cagayan de Oro Electric Power and Light Company (Cepalco) who designed Cepalco’s solar plant in Indahag, in a statement addressed to stakeholders via email furnished to me some time ago by Mike Baños, urged the stakeholders to ask the government to rehabilitate the nationally operated hydro based power plants and to use diesel powered generators in the interim.
On a long term, there is a viable proposal to tap solar energy and for local government units (LGUs) to develop sustainable and clean hydroelectric plants in identified areas in Mindanao to cover for the shortfall, in cooperation with the private sector to generate cheaper sources of electricity.
Former Congressman Teddy Casiño called the past brownouts a blackmail to cause panic among the users to make us believe that only the privately owned and profit hungry Independent Power Producers (IPPs) can provide us with cheap power. Now, the Department of Energy and the government refused to rehabilitate our watersheds and develop cheap hydroelectric sources of sustainable electric supply and energy in favor of expensive, environmentally destructive and cancer causing toxic coal power plants.
Here are some of the proposed solutions:
Short Term Solutions:
A. “We need to use government Diesel Power Plants”
“1.Petition the government for the NPC-Mindanao to operate the Iligan diesel power plants under the same terms and conditions that they did during the 2009blackouts
2. Petition the government for the PSALM to transfer to Mindanao the three 32-MWpower barges in Iloilo, to be operated by NPC-Mindanao to supply power to Mindanao consumers.
The foregoing will enable the NPC – Mindanao and PSALM to supply the present shortfall in their contracts with their customers in Mindanao, which shortfall is due to the lack of power from their hydropower plants. The rates for the supply from these emergency sources of power should be the same rates NPC-PSALM is now charging, but the Mindanao consumers could pay full-cost recovery rates, which should be around nine pesos per kWh or less."
B. “Carry Out the Baloi Flood Control Projects”
"The government to carry out immediately the Balo-i plains flood control project to allow increase in the capacity of upstream Agus plants of up to 100 MW, within one year or so from start of construction."
May I add that there was also a shortfall of water for the hydropower plants during the dry season but that can be addressed by a massive rehabilitation of our watersheds. Cost analysis can arrive at a conclusion that investing on these programs will not only solve the power crisis but also improve flood control and the water absorption capacity and fertility of the soil for food production.
Published in the Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro newspaper on October 27, 2013.