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Murang Kuryente challenges power firm to go all in on renewable energy

Murang Kuryente on Thursday welcomed World Environment Day by asking Meralco to prove its commitment to renewable energy (RE) by divesting itself of all coal-fired power plants it has in the pipeline.

Meralco on Tuesday announced plans to develop 1,000 megawatts (MW) of renewable energy projects in the next seven years.

“Renewable energy is safer, more affordable, and more sustainable than coal, and it is welcome to hear Meralco say they are committing to it. But we don’t want RE to be a token PR project of the company. Meralco should abandon all its coal-fired power plant projects and completely embrace RE,” said Murang Kuryente spokesperson Gerry Arances.

Coal is currently the biggest provider of fuel for power plants in the Philippines, accounting for more than a third of the installed capacity in the country, with more coal-fired power plants planned for construction.

Arances said, “As the biggest distribution utility in the country, on top of its own power generation projects, Meralco is in a position to change the energy mix of the Philippines on its own. We hope that this change can be manifested in concrete solutions such as shutting down its Atimonan coal project instead of using RE just for PR purposes.”

He added, “In fact, their Atimonan project alone already exceeds their planned investment in RE for the next seven years. Why does RE have to wait for so long to get the same generating capacity as Meralco’s coal projects?”

Meralco Powergen Corp. (MGen), the power generation subsidiary of Meralco, is building a 1,200MW coal-fired power plant in Atimonan, Quezon, a move which has been fiercely opposed by Murang Kuryente and its allies.

“Meralco’s moves on its coal projects, and not its press releases, will be the true test of its commitment to more affordable electricity for its consumers,” said Arances. PR

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