Thursday, June 27, 2019

Sanchez: Clean coal myth

SO, what has the Nanticoke Generating Station got to do with Negros Occidental? Plenty, if you Google.

According to Wikipedia, the Generating Station was the largest coal-fired power plant in North America.

At full capacity, it could provide 3,964 megawatts (mw) of power into the southern Ontario power grid from its base in Nanticoke, Ontario, Canada.

It was decommissioned in 2013 as part of the Government of Ontario’s commitment to eliminate coal power. Prior to the commencement of decommissioning, Nanticoke was one of Canada’s top 10 single sources of greenhouse gases.

The Nanticoke station used to be one of Canada’s largest greenhouse gas emitters and polluters. In 2001, it was the largest single source of greenhouse gases according to Environment Canada. The station is reinventing itself as a solar energy supplier.

And here we are in Negros Occidental with Vice Governor Eugenio “Bong” Lacson saying Negrenses “should look at merits and not only emotions.”

Graduating Negros Occidental Governor Alfredo Marañón Jr said, “coal is very dirty.” He echoed Negros Oriental Governor Roel Degamo renewed his support anew for “sustainable, clean, renewable energy” and strongly rejected any entry of coal-fired power energy in his province.

How starved is the First District -- or San Carlos City, for that matter—for energy? Negros Occidental is recognized as the country’s top producer of solar electricity, with a generation capacity of 341.5 mw from five solar power firms, including two in San Carlos City.

Renewable energy is no longer an advocacy tool for renewables. It has already become a reality.

The island is in the forefront of enabling the country to achieve its commitment to the United Nations SDG 7 of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) “Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all.”

Unlike sustainable energy sources such as solar, fossil fuels such as petroleum and coal are exhaustible. Why hedge on dirty non-renewable sources that has a future. A bleak future, that is.


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