This is a repost of Mr. Joey Mirasol's commentary on the October 2013 report of Palawan Electric Cooperative.
Based on the October Paleco report on generation and peak demand, it is obvious that there is actually no lack of available power supply in Palawan. The excess available supply is even more than the peak demand!
Why then must we allow the DMCI coal-fired plant? DMCI has already met the supply requirement of 25MW in their contract. They bid and won to supply 25MW at a rate of P9.36/kwh based on a combination of coal/diesel generation. This bid was not dependent on the approval of a coal-fired plant, DMCI assured the public that the rate and supply would be firm even if the coal plant would not be approved. Therefore, their computations already included a reasonable profit, as otherwise they would have bid higher.
It is disappointing to note that our elected officials have approved the coal plant, despite questions regarding environmental and health concerns. The coal plant will not add to our existing capacity, this will only add to the profitability of DMCI. Instead of for the common good of Palawan, our elected officials are now proponents for DMCI’s welfare.
The No to Coal movement has been branded as a hindrance to Palawan’s progress and will discourage investments in our province. What potential investments are now on hold because of the need for power more than the 25MW surplus available? If it is true that we need more than 25MW to attract investors, there is enough time to develop renewable sources of energy like hydro, wind and solar. Sure, the capital cost may be higher, but the effective cost of power will be less, excluding the benefits derived from using clean and non-extractive fossil fuels.
Palawan is a unique province, even a special law was enacted to ensure its sustainability. We can remain so and still be progressive, if only our leaders exercise due diligence and remain socially responsible.