Negros Island has been identified by the Center for Energy, Ecology and Development (CEED) as a potential starting point for the transformation of the country’s power sector amid a worsening climate crisis.
CEED Research, Policy and Law head Avril De Torres said the vision of a 100 percent renewable energy powered Negros was possible if the island can address existing contradictions that allow coal and other fossil fuels to maintain a foothold.
“The combination of local policies favoring renewables, upcoming expiration of coal power supply agreements, a diverse renewable energy installed capacity mix and potential, and a strong movement supporting renewable energy development make Negros Island a hope spot for the first power transformation in the country,” de Torres said.
Combined, Negros Occidental and Oriental boast of a 95 percent renewable energy share in their installed capacity mix, but the people are unable to benefit from the cheap and clean electricity the island produces. As much as 80 percent of the power it contracts are largely from coal and fossil fuel plants outside Negros.
CEED hopes to contribute to the power transformation in Negros by empowering the people to take an active role in ensuring that local energy planning and implementation is sustainable and democratic.
For the shift to renewables to be possible in Negros, local communities must be supportive of the transformation, along with those in power. Working together, technological and financial barriers can be overcome. In the coming months, expiring contracts with coal plants outside Negros offer a rare opportunity to set a course for power transformation in the island, putting us on the path to true sustainable development.
Our leaders and the private sector should not waste this chance to transform the energy landscape and nudge our future towards a more sustainable path that everyone should benefit from.*