PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte praised proponents of green energy projects but said coal remains the most viable source of energy if the country is to accelerate industrialization.
Duterte was the guest of honor of the groundbreaking of the 10.6-megawatt Pulanai hydroelectric power plant in Zone 11, Hangaron, Lumbayao village, Valencia City, Bukidnon, Friday afternoon.
Duterte has questioned anew the sanctions imposed by the United States and European Union on smaller countries like the Philippines when the country’s carbon footprint is not that significant compared to the superpowers.
The President said the Philippines needs energy, mostly sourced from non-renewable like coal, for it to grow at par with other developing countries.
“Every country in this world has progress. Here in the Southeast Asia, we have remained the poorest,” Duterte said.
The Pulanai plant, to be operated by Repower Energy Development Corporation, is one of the power-generation facilities that will be constructed with the approval of the Department of Energy (DOE).
According the DOE in its website, the Pulanai facility is among the hundreds of hydroelectric power projects that were approved by the agency in 2016 all over the country, with the combined potential capacity of around 7,459.52 megawatts.
In Mindanao, the dozens of these power generator projects spread all over the island can produce a potential capacity about 1,453.62 megawatts.
DOE said the Pulanai project is “compliant with the work program and posting for performance bond.”
In Bukidnon, hydroelectric power projects will be constructed in Baungon, Libona, Dancagan, Impasugong, Sumilao, Kalilangan, Malaybalay, Malitbog, Manolo Fortich, and Maramag.
Last September, Duterte inaugurated the FDC Misamis Power Corporation’s 405-megawatt coal-fired power plant in Villanueva, Misamis Oriental.
The operation of the FDC Misamis’ coal-fired power plant has contributed to the stabilization of the energy supply in the Mindanao grid.
The National Grid Corporation of the Philippines, in its daily power outlook, has reported that Mindanao has a reserve of 666 megawatts, system capacity of 2,186 megawatts and system peak of 1,520 megawatts, as of Friday morning.