August 11, 2008

Renewables Can Provide Over Half Philippines Energy Needs: Report

Renewables can provide over half Philippines energy needs: report

MANILA, Aug. 8 (Xinhua) -- Renewable energy can provide as much as 57 percent of the Philippines' energy needs by 2030, according to a report launched Friday by a global environmental group.

"Energy Revolution: A Sustainable Philippine Energy Outlook" is the first comprehensive energy strategy drawn up for the Philippine setting which shows how renewable energy can become the country's energy backbone, Greenpeace said in a statement.

All that is needed is the political will to transform vision into reality, the group added.

Greenpeace said it will present the Philippine government with a concrete action plan to make an "Energy Revolution" possible, which will provide the country with secure and affordable energy while maintaining the country's economic development.

"It will steer the country away from the use of harmful, climate change-causing fossil fuels, and toward harnessing the country's vast reserves of free, clean and safe renewable energy," said Greenpeace Southeast Asia Executive Director Von Hernandez.

Greenpeace said the spiraling costs of fossil fuels and the rampaging and worsening impacts of largely fossil fuel-propelled climate change warrant a serious strategic reconsideration of the energy pathway so far chosen by the country.

Renewables, along with the smart use of energy, must be harnessed in a great scale in order to strengthen the country's energy independence and to mitigate climate change impacts, it added. Almost all the oil consumed in the Philippines is imported from other countries.

The country can generate as much as 70 percent of its electricity needs from renewable energy by 2050, with "new" renewables, such as wind, biomass, geothermal and solar energy, contributing 58 percent of this capacity, according to the report.

To catalyze the Energy Revolution, the government must immediately phase out all subsidies for fossil fuel technologies and internalize their external costs, Greenpeace said.

It should also set out legally-binding targets for renewable energy and new laws to implement those targets, the group added.

More aggressive energy efficiency measures should also take place, Greenpeace said.

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