National Renewables Program – Expecting New Results from Same Old Policies

The Philippine government relaunched it’s National Renewal Energy Program  – to solve the power shortage, supposedly. Philstar reported that:

MANILA, Philippines (Xinhua) – President Benigno S. Aquino III formally launched today the National Renewable Energy Program (NREP) that is expected to solve power shortage especially in rural areas.

The NREP contains a framework for action, existing and future measures, instruments and policies to promote the use of renewable energy. It will also serve as a roadmap to make renewable energy more viable.

In his speech keynoting the event, the President underscored the importance of renewable energy saying it not only empowers cities, machines and entire industries but also “fuels our movement towards the rebuilding of this nation.”

“Renewable energy will fuel our future,” Aquino said.

The Aquino Myth: Lower Cost of Electricity

Aquino added that through renewable energy, the government can supply the electricity needs of the people at a lower cost and not at the expense of the environment. Really?

The Reality: Continuing High Cost of Electricity

There will not be enough electricity from renewables; Cost of Renewables electricity will remain high

Prices from renewables will remain high. In a previous blog titled “Electric Rates: Another Shocker of a Hike“, it was pointed out during a hearing of the House Committee on Energy that “Present and new players in the power sector are lobbying for higher renewable energy rates so they could earn billions in net profits.”

Snap Out of the Delusion

Given the 60/40 restrictions, the renewables will follow the way of the traditional fossil-based and hydro-based energy sectors – consolidation into business interests owned by the big players – Lopez, Aboitiz, Ayala, Pangilinan, and Cojuangco.

Expecting new results from the same old protectionist policy? Don’t bet on it.



  1. Anonymous · ·

    It seems that the current technologies of alternative fuels will not result in lower costs. High initial investment cost, biofuels which are also food sources, and other concerns have already assured that scenario.
    But what are the alternatives? Ang mali lang sa press release is the “assurance” of lowered prices. The push for renewable sources seems to be an imperative if we want to continue enjoying our current conveniences (or necessities).
    By the way would you rather have Chevron, BP, Shell, and even those BRICS oil people dominate the field rather than Lopez, Pangilinan, Aoitiz, et al.?

  2. If Chevron, BP, Shell, and even those BRICS oil people provide a better value (better service, more courteous employees, lower cost, more convenient self-serve stations to reduce labor cost) – than Lopez, Pangilinan, Aboitiz et al -by all means – my convenience, my wallet comes first – not the wallets of Lopez, Pangilinan, Aboitiz et al

  3. Do more research, the Lopez, Pangilinan GC, Aboitiz, San Miguel are great employers and do take care of their consumers.

  4. no they don’t – they SUCK

  5. Your main point that renewables are not the way to go is well put, though perhaps not because of the protectionist element of the economy. Actually, the power producers are not subject to the 60/40 rule because they are not considered public utilities.

    But it seems there is some hope, if only because EPIRA mandates deregulation of the wholesale market. Progress has been slow, but it seems there is progress. However, the entry of renewables under subsidized conditions (i.e. under the FIT system) is a step back and will likely only add to the retail price paid by the consumer. The trick is not to implement FIT.

  6. China claim to the Diaoyu Islands is based on the “discovery” of unclaimed territory and derives from a range of Chinese governmental contacts and references going back to 1372.

    Japan claim is also based on the “discovery” of supposedly unclaimed territory, despite the fact that official Japanese documents, several of which were unearthed by Taiwan scholar Han-yi Shaw, demonstrate that the Japanese government was well aware of China historic claim when it began to take an interest in the islets in 1885.

    During the subsequent decade, contrary to the assertions now made by Japan, its officials not only failed to complete surveys of the islets necessary to confirm their alleged unclaimed status, but also recognised that the matter “would need to involve negotiations with Qing China”.

    To avoid China suspicion, Japan chose to conceal its intention to occupy the islets “until a more appropriate time”. That time came in January 1895, when Japan by then on its way to defeating China in their 1894 war, adopted a Cabinet decision that the islets were Japanese territory. Yet even that Cabinet decision was not made public until after the second world war.

    Moreover, if the US were to become an impartial mediator, it would have to note that Japan claim to sovereignty over the islets is based on a distorted version of late 19th century history that does not pass the international smell test.

    It is time for Japan to reassess its views on the international law of the sea. Those of its views that are plainly irresponsible only discredit others that deserve serious consideration.

    Perhaps most insulting to the world community is its claim that the rock called Okinotorishima that constitutes Japan southernmost “land”, a reef system with land at high tide no larger than a king-sized bed, is entitled to an EEZ and continental shelf.

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