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Why the Philippines Need a Solar Revolution

Updated: Jun 24, 2020

In 2015, world leaders came together in Paris, France to discuss a landmark accord that addresses the negative impacts of climate change and sets up a course of action to limit such impacts. In this deal, leaders from all over the world united towards a common goal of significant reductions of global greenhouse gas emissions, which is the major cause of climate change.

But here in the Philippines, we are also fighting another battle on top of climate change. Our country's power industry is controlled by only a few individuals and businesses and they have gained this amount of control through coal power plants.

The private sector was tapped to bring competition in our power industry, but instead of competing with each other, they connived with each other and raised the prices even more.

Because of these, our country's power industry has become the cash cow of these businesses and became one of their top sources of income. And today, as if they have not earned enough from us, these businesses are even pushing to have more coal power plants as our energy source. While most other countries, including our neighbors in the ASEAN region, are actively moving away from coal.

And this is not because our country has a lot of coal reserves. In fact, we import a whopping 75% of our coal supply mostly from Indonesia and Australia. Not only is coal dirty and more expensive compared to renewable energy technologies, it also exposes our power industry to political unrest, price volatility and the risk of unfavorable foreign exchange rates.