Despite the efforts of the local government units to energize the whole province of Palawan, there are still households that cannot access the electricity due to remoteness and the high cost of electricity is one additional consideration.
During the presentation of Gabriel Wynn of Southeast Asia Renewable Energy Peoples’ Assembly (SEAREPA) with different people’s organizations, NGO’s, academe, government officials and students, he shared the best practices of many communities of Sabah, Malaysia.
Wynn said Sabah was supposed to have a coal plant project but the project didn’t push through because the communities have unite in opposing the project.
Like Palawan, Sabah opted to use renewable energy to reduce carbon emission and to protect their environment in general.
Wynn, an expert in the construction of mini hydro system said that in Sabah there are communities who are able to install a power generation system being ran by small turbines from renewable sources like “run of the river” small hydro plants.
“All the systems are managed by the communities. There is an integration of environmental protection and energy production,” he said.
The success of Sabah in halting the establishment of coal-fired power plants is a product of the good connection with the private sector in Sabah, he pointed out.
He also emphasized the role of the media in their campaign.
Rebekah Shirley of the University of California shared the result of the study conducted by Renewable & Appropriate Energy Laboratory (RAEL), an independent energy research facility which focuses on the integrated long-term energy for rapidly developing economies.
The study is basically about a case of mega- projects in Borneo, Shirley said.
According to Shirley “if you consider all the costs of a particular energy source over time, biomass is cheaper compared with coal.”
This statement was supported by Gerry Arances, executive director of Philippine Movement for Climate Justice who said that with renewable energy, the cost that consumers are paying per kilowatt hour will be removed particularly the transmission cost.
“Ang future trend ay pabagsak ang presyo ng renewable energy dahil mas marami na ang gumagamit nito,” Arances said.