TABUK CITY, Kalinga – Gov. James Edubba underscored that the province will become the bastion of renewable energy not only in the Cordillera but also in Northern Luzon once the available sources of renewable power will be developed as possible alternative to the existing sources of energy that is dependent on coal.
Edubba, who recently assumed as the province’s local chief executive, disclosed that the province is rich in various sources of renewable energy, particularly hydro, that could make Kalinga the major source of renewable power once all existing explorations, studies, among others, will be implemented.
During his term as mayor of Pasil town, the governor claimed there were already studies undertaken to ascertain the geothermal power potentials of the locality where there were already good indicators showing the possibility of Pasil hosting a geothermal plant although the water in the area being eyed for development is reportedly corrosive.
Further, Edubba pointed out that the free and prior informed consent (FPIC) of some 2 minihydro power plants in Pasil has also been completed and ready for development by interested investors that is why renewable energy will be one of the province’s major economic drivers in the future once the projects will be realized.
He stipulated that aside from the areas being eyed for the operation of renewable energy facilities, Kalinga, especially the various upland and lowland municipalities host various river systems with the potential of supplying substantial supply of renewable power that could be infused to add up to the deteriorating power supply of the country in the coming years.
Edubba explained there had been reports that one of the country’s major source of renewable power, the Malampaya gas fields which is providing approximately 2,500 megawatts of renewable power, will be depleted, thus, the need to start developing other sources of renewable energy in time once the Malampaya gas fields are depleted by 2027.
According to him, aside from ensuring the possible growth and development in areas hosting the operation of renewable energy plants, host communities can also be guaranteed their share from the taxes to be paid by companies operation such renewable power plants once the ancestral domain owners give their free prior and informed consent.
Edubba emphasized that aside from geothermal and hydro power, other possible sources of alternative energy is solar and some renewable energy companies are working for the establishment of a solar power farm in one of the localities in the province.
However, Edubba asserted that all renewable energy projects being proposed in the province will have to pass through the stringent regulations governing the conduct of the free and prior informed consent of the directly and indirectly affected indigenous peoples so that host and neighboring communities will benefit from the exploitation of the natural resources within their ancestral domains.