There are many small victories to celebrate among renewable energy advocates.
Last June, the European Commission, Parliament and Council agreed to increase renewable power use in the region to 32 percent by 2030, up from the previous goal of 27 percent.
Aside from setting this target, the agreement also included removal of barriers to entry of renewable energy small players as well as a review of the 32 percent goal in 2023.
The new goal was set so that the region can meet its goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 40 percent, below 1990 levels by 2030 as part of its commitment to the Paris Agreement of keeping global warming below 2 degrees. “This deal is a hard-won victory in our efforts to unlock the true potential of Europe’s clean energy transition,” EU Climate Commissioner Miguel Arias Canete was quoted.
And there is more good news from this region since Sweden is set to achieve its renewable energy targets 12 years ahead of the deadline.
The Nordic nation is likely to reach its 2030 renewable energy target of generating 18 terawatt-hours annually from renewables by the end of the year according to the Swedish Wind Energy Association (SWEA). This feat will be possible, thanks to the aggressive installation of wind turbines since some 3,681 wind turbines will be operational across the country by year-end.
Europe is not the only one that brought good news. Japan also recently announced its plans of boosting renewable energy use by 2030 by 22 to 24 percent. Currently, the country sources 15 percent of its energy demand from renewable sources.
Unfortunately, the Philippines did not make a similar announcement and instead opted to push down our goal of sourcing 35 percent of overall power needs from RE by 2030 to 2040.
But this is not to say that we lack good news in renewable energy front or that Filipinos entirely lack appreciation for renewable energy. After all, several local government units (LGUs) have declared their support for cleaner forms of power.
For example, last June, the city council of Ozamiz revoked an earlier resolution endorsing the proposal to build a 300-megawatt coal-fired plant and instead adopted a new one to look for prospective investors for renewable energy in the city.
The same case happened in Bohol last March where its local government prevented the building of new coal power plants since “the entire Provincial Government of Bohol are fully intent on maintaining the sanctity and pristine condition of the environment.”
Eventually, the LGU of Bohol passed an ordinance against the establishment of coal power plants in the province on April 6, joining the ranks of Guimaras and Ilocos Norte, which had already banned coal and shifted to renewable energy.
Yes, our national government may be slow in realizing the value of renewable power, unlike other nations like the European countries and Japan but at least our provinces know the worth of going renewables. Maybe soon, more Filipinos including government officials will realize what renewable power can do for our country and that, as Guimaras Governor Samuel Gumarin said in a speech, “a sustainable-development path, powered by renewable energy, is not only possible but more viable.”