Greenpeace blames fossil fuels reliance for brownouts, calls for shift to renewable energy

Greenpeace blames fossil fuels reliance for brownouts, calls for shift to renewable energy

June 3, 2021 0 By The Sun Monitor
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QUEZON CITY, Philippines—The National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) this week placed the Luzon power grid on red and yellow alerts due to increasing demand and insufficient power supply. This prompted rotational brownouts on the island, including areas covered by MERALCO.

MLD

In an advisory, NGCP said it may implement manual load dropping (MLD) in the following areas from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m.

  • LUELCO (parts of La Union and Pangasinan)
  • QUEZELCO I (parts of Quezon)
  • CASURECO II (parts of Camarines Sur)
  • MERALCO (parts of Metro Manila)

NGCP may also implement an MLD from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. in the following:

  • ISECO (parts of Ilocos Sur)
  • QUEZELCO I (parts of Quezon)
  • APEC (parts of Albay)
  • MERALCO (parts of Metro Manila)

Reacting to these developments, Greenpeace Campaigner Khevin Yu said: “The recent brownouts and the red and yellow alerts come as no surprise in a country that is still reliant on coal and other fossil fuels for its power.”

“Our recent studies found that Meralco, the country’s largest electricity distributor, sources its power mostly from coal plants and the Malampaya gas field, which are now operating below capacity due to intense heat and increasing demand.”

Inflexible

While these energy sources are contributing to the climate crisis, they are also inflexible and unable to meet the long-term needs of Filipinos, he added.

He stressed the renewable energy (RE) sources such as solar and wind power have proven to be more reliable, predictable, and will encounter fewer risks.

Meralco’s energy choices are appalling,” Yu said.

During its Annual General Assembly, the company had committed to increase RE sources in its energy mix by only 1,500 MW in the next five years.

“This is far less than what they are capable of, and will only perpetuate our current problems,” he said.

Feasible

Greenpeace Philippines urged that Meralco should source all of its upcoming energy contracts solely from RE.

“Our 2020 report Decarbonizing Meralco has found this to be feasible, and they owe us, their consumers, efficient electricity distribution that would not fail us in these tough times,” Yu said.

“We urge this company, and all the other energy suppliers in the country, to scale up their RE targets and provide energy security for Filipinos now,” he said.

PHOTO: File photo

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