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EDC urges government in Philippines to support geothermal development

Southern Negros geothermal plant, Negros Oriental, Philippines (source: Mike Gonzalez, creative commons BY-SA 3.0)
Alexander Richter 17 Dec 2016

Energy Development Corporation (EDC) in the Philippines is urging the country's government to support the development of more geothermal projects.

Energy Development Corporation (EDC) in the Philippines is urging the country’s government to support the development of more geothermal projects; because geothermal is not only a clean, renewable and indigenous energy source but its cost, as well as supply, is stable. So reported by the Manila Bulletin.

EDC President and COO Richard B. Tantoco explained the country cannot depend on coal-fired power plants for stable prices because – contrary to popular perception – coal is no longer a cheap power plant fuel, he noted.

“Indonesian coal was US$44 a metric ton in February and just a couple of weeks ago it reached US$110 [per metric ton]. So, what does that mean for the Filipino consumers, going out to the future?” Tantoco asked.

Tantoco said there is risk on relying heavily on a single fuel source, because if that fuel source encounters supply shortages or sharp price increases, consumers will suffer.

“Even if it [coal] stabilizes into 80 [dollars per metric ton] it doesn’t mean ‘cheap’ energy is there to stay. That’s why we’re pushing very hard for geothermal to happen; because if you make it happen, it provides stable, base load, and clean energy,” he pointed out.

Tantoco explained that EDC’s focus on developing geothermal and other renewable energy sources reflects the company’s recognition of the need to lessen the build-up in the atmosphere of more carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases that are blamed for global warming and climate change.

The use of geothermal  energy also helps the government save on foreign exchange that otherwise would pay for imported fuel sources like coal.

“The Philippines is the single, most vulnerable nation on earth; it recorded 320 events in 10 years compared to just 220 for Bangladesh and Thailand. So we are the most vulnerable,” Tantoco noted.

“Every single ton of carbon we throw out to the atmosphere is detrimental…It’s not the people who trade in the stock exchange who are going to get affected; it’s the poorest of the poor. So we have to work hand in hand to de-carbonize the energy sector,” Tantoco stressed.

“We are pushing for geothermal energy because it’s stable and clean. We are also developing more solar projects,” Tantoco said.

He added  that EDC’s focus on developing geothermal and other renewable energy sources is part of the company and the Lopez Group’s commitment for a decarbonized future.

EDC, the country’s largest geothermal energy producer, is the renewable energy arm of First Gen Corporation, the country’s leading clean and renewable energy producer.

Source: Manila Bulletin