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No need for transition period in shift to renewable energy –group

Clean energy advocacy group Murang Kuryente over the weekend claimed there is no transition period needed in the shift the renewable energy, and coal-power plants should be shut down immediately.

"There is no transition needed, except to bring RE power plants online and deactivating coal power plants. To do anything otherwise is to deceive both consumers and the President,” Murang Kuryente spokesperson Gerry Arances said in a statement.

"So long as coal remains a fixture in the country’s energy mix, consumers will continue to be preyed on by electric companies, and hit further by climate change and health issues," he added.

Arances made the remark after President Rodrigo Duterte, during his State of the Nation Address (SONA) last week, called for the development of alternative energy sources.

"We recognize the urgent need to ensure the sustainability and availability of resources and the development of alternative ones. In this regard, I trust that Secretary Cusi shall fast-track also the development of renewable energy sources, and reduce dependence on the traditional energy sources such as coal," said Duterte.

This was welcomed by the Department of Energy (DOE), but Secretary Alfonso Cusi said there needs to be a transition period to renewable energy.

"The DOE is encouraged by the President’s comments... However, energy security also requires diversification beyond RE. LNG (liquefied natural gas) and coal-fired power plants are the bridging-fuel we will need as we transition towards more RE," said Cusi.

This did not sit well with Murang Kuryente group, that claimed that coal plants should no longer be entertained in the country.

"We are very wary of this ‘transition period’ claimed by DOE. The plants they have in the pipeline are all slated to operate at least 20 years into the future. Why is it difficult for Secretary Cusi, a presidential appointee, to obey his boss, President Duterte?” said Arances.

"President Duterte gave DOE its marching orders. Secretary Cusi, in creating space for coal, is being insubordinate, at the cost of money and health to the Filipino energy consumer," he added. —Jon Viktor Cabuenas/LBG, GMA News