Red Constantino, executive director of the Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities says the government should start building renewable energy power stations and provide more incentives for renewable energy. The ICSC met with officials of the Mindanao Development Authority in Davao City on Thursday to discuss about renewable energy projects in Mindanao. (Zea Io Ming C. Capistrano/


DAVAO CITY — An advocate for sustainable energy solutions and fair climate policy said the government should not approve any more coal plants in the country saying it is no longer a viable investment.

Red Constantino, executive director of the Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities said the government should start building renewable energy power stations and promote more incentives for renewable energy.

“I think by 2018- coal might occupy 80 percent of the share of energy mix in Mindanao, that is massive. It means, almost all of Mindanao’s energy will be supplied by imported, polluted, unreliable power. And that is wrong on so many levels,” Constantino told Davao Today in an interview on Thursday, September 15.

“You are importing something that is killing us, punishing us through pollution, that is heavily subsidized by taxpayers,” he said.

Constantino said the more coal the government approves, the less space there is to build renewable energy systems.

“You lock an entire region in Mindanao for 40 years to a coal plant. That means for 40 years that region cannot enjoy renewable power and that the potential to cut energy costs, reduce our dependents on energy imports, our opportunity to industrialize in a sustainable way are foregone goals,” he said.

Atty. Pete Maniego, senior policy advisor of the  ICSC and former chairman of the National Renewable Energy Board said compared to other renewable energy sources, “the levelized cost of electricity produced by coal is higher.”

“Apart from the harmful effects of greenhouse gases, allowing coal to expand in Mindanao and the rest of the country would lock up power investments and lock out the far larger potential of investments in renewable energy to power long-term development,” he said.

Meeting with MinDA

The Institute’s experts met with the Mindanao Development Authority here Thursday to  discuss possible renewable energy developments in Mindanao.

The ICSC said it supports the plan of MinDA to restore an energy mix of at least 50 percent renewable energy in Mindanao by 2013.

“Our work is also to help them realize their goals which is to restore to at least 50 % the energy mix here,” Constantino said.

He said through their engagement with the Senate and House of Representatives and the Climate Change Commission and through policy changes they will amplify MinDA’s vision.

Renewable energy projects acceleration

MinDA recently set-up a One Stop Facilitation and Monitoring Center to accelerate the deployment of renewable energy projects in Mindanao.

The monitoring system currently tracks 284 renewable energy projects in Mindanao that is mostly in its pre-development stage. The projects have the total potential generation capacity of 3,773 megawatts.

“We want to purposively address a ‘business as usual’ scenario where majority of Mindanao’s energy sources by 2030 will come from mostly fossil technology, and now is the time to trigger rapid renewable energy deployment,” said MinDA’s Deputy Executive Director Romeo Montenegro previously.

He said Mindanao’s current 60-40 energy mix in favor of renewable energy “will see significant reversal to 70-30 dominated by fossil in 2018.” (

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