LAOAG CITY—The Ilocos Norte provincial board recently passed a resolution eliminating coal from the province’s allowable sources of electricity.
The board unanimously approved last Aug. 15 Provincial Resolution No. 017-2016, authored by environment committee chairman Mariano Marcos II, declaring Ilocos Norte as a “clean, green and coal-free province.”
“No office or instrumentality of the provincial government of Ilocos Norte shall issue any permit, authorization, endorsement or any expression of support to the development of coal projects in the province,” the resolution read.
The board encouraged all two cities and 21 municipalities of the province to refrain from issuing coal permits. The resolution makes Ilocos Norte the first province to phase out coal use and become a total renewable energy consumer.
With its solar, wind and hydroelectric energy sources, Ilocos Norte is already generating about 50 percent of its power requirement from clean or renewable energy.
With a 264-MW installed wind energy capacity as of 2015, Ilocos Norte is already dubbed the undisputed wind energy capital of the Philippines.
Since 2010 local government initiatives have paved the way for Ilocos Norte to become home to the 150-megawatt wind-power project of Energy Development Corporation, a unit of First Gen Corp., in Burgos; the 81-MW Caparispisan wind station of Northern Luzon UPC Asia Corp.; and the 52-MW Bangui wind project of Northwind Power and Development Corporation.
The province is also emerging as the country if not Southeast Asia’s renewable energy capital with the further development of the 5 MW Agua Grande hydroelectric power plant in Pagudpud and solar farms like the 20 MW solar power facility of Soleq Philippines Inc., in Barangay Paguludan in Currimao, and the 4.1 MW and 2.6 MW solar farms in Burgos of EDC.
“The leadership of Ilocos Norte has consciously supported renewable energy development not only because the province is endowed with the essential natural environment but also because it is the only way to promote the economic prosperity of present and future generations of Ilocanos that is friendly to the environment and is not harmful to the people’s health and well-being,” the resolution said.
“Renewable energy has also given the people of Ilocos Norte reason to be proud for significantly contributing to the reduction of carbon emissions that harm the environment and sadly render the country and the Filipinos among the most vulnerable in the world to the devastating effects of climate change,” the resolution added.
It also said the leadership of the province “continues to shy away from energy developments using coal of any type because of its proven harmful effects to the environment, dreaded impact to climate change, and menace to the health of the people.”
“The province of Ilocos Norte supports the national government in its commitment to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change through the Conference of Parties 21 to reduce carbon emissions by 70% from expected levels in 2030, given that its experience and success proves that concrete actions can be taken now,” the Ilocos Norte provincial board declared.