Press Releases

Salceda says time to accelerate solar, wind projects as baseload, amid China droughts causing blackouts and greater demand for coal

September 11th, 2022

House Ways and Means Chair Joey Sarte Salceda (Albay, 2nd district) is calling for a national drive to have solar and wind projects generate baseload power, amid fears that the drought in China will cause yet another spike in global demand for coal and other fossil fuels, as hydropower plants in that country dry up.

“The drought is getting worse in China, and hydropower is already suffering as a consequence. Sichuan Province, one of the largest interior provinces, is already experiencing blackouts, and Chonqing had to cut the lights for some hours to save energy,” Salceda said.

“As a result of drying up rivers, China is now ramping up its coal power production. In the short-run, that will mean we will probably export more coal to China. Prices of coal might spike up,” Salceda said.

Salceda adds that he sees “that climate change will be the death knell of hydropower as a reliable source of energy.”

“So, we need to increase solar and wind power as baseload. That requires that the Philippines gets access to solar and wind battery technology fast and soon,” Salceda added.

Salceda says that he hopes the government will pursue a national strategy to transform wind and solar energy into baseload energy, or power supply that is reliable throughout the day.

“I hope the Department of Energy and the Department of Trade and Industry will form a national effort to make wind and solar baseload sources. This is consistent with PBBM’s push for indigenous energy sources.”

“One, we need to be able to import large solar and wind batteries and accompanying technology. I suggest duty-free importation for components, parts, and the whole thing until we reach a baseload target for wind and solar.”

“Two, that technology is continuously evolving, so we need foreign talent here to install, maintain, and develop battery technology. So, I strongly recommend expedited and extended working visas for foreign scientists and operators of battery technology.”

“Three, our metals nickel, copper, and cobalt are essential components for battery technology for wind and solar, so I strongly recommend leveraging our mineral assets. I would encourage our mining companies to link up with foreign manufacturers of these large batteries.”

“Four, I would create a package of regulatory relief measures to expedite permits for solar and wind projects, especially those that supply baseload. We have one that is being built already, in Batangas. Land use permits take up the longest time in that regard.”

“Five, I would recommend policy changes, including the National Renewable Energy Board creating a new classification for RE as baseload, and classifying expanded targets for solar and wind as baseload. Right now, the DOE has suspended the expansion of solar and wind capacity expansion targets of 500 MW each, which would then be eligible for FIT. That was a policy decision under Sec. Alfonso Cusi.”

“With a new admin in charge, I would recommend that we immediately support the recommendation of the NREB to expand solar and wind capacity targets but make the additional qualification, at least for now, that it has to be baseload. That will allow greater and accelerated investments in battery-powered solar and wind baseload,” Salceda added.

Other Press Releases
The AO will make food cheaper. Right now, it’s very difficult as an honest exporter to sell food to the Philippines.
Read More
Statement on the pronouncements against the Public Service Act amendments (RA 11659)
Read More
Statement on the February 2024 jobs report
Read More
Statement on the March 2024 inflation figures
Read More