Tuesday, August 23,
Santo Domingo, D. N.
At a press conference held in the morning, the National Committee to Combat Climate Change, CNLCC suggested actors involved in the discussions of the Pact for Reform of the Electricity Sector to take into account climate change for the electric energy matrix be sustainable.
It was said that it should achieve an Electrical Pact to benefit the country and the planet, establishing a model of power generation with low emissions of carbon dioxide and with little environmental impact.
It advocated in favor that the Electrical Pact establishes an electrical matrix based on renewable energy, de-carbonization of energy and of the economy, converting Punta Catalina to natural gas, the drastic reduction of losses in the supply of electricity, the immediate reduction of electricity rates by at least 30% and an efficient social control and oversight to ensure the institutionalization, transparency and zero corruption in this sector. “Without these points, the Electrical Pact would have been for nothing,” it was said.
It considered that one should not miss the current situation that the Dominican Republic is living, where there are no long-lasting contractual commitments because of recently terminated Madrid Agreement, to replace imported fossil fuels by renewable energy sources such as sun, wind and water, very abundant in our environment.
It was suggested that the Electrical Pact adopt the low emission of carbon dioxide along with the economic cost to tender and sign new long-term contracts with electricity generators.
It called the Electrical Pact a step backward that eventually supports that more than half of electricity generation be produced based on coal with the possible entry into operation of Punta Catalina coal plants in 2018, when the world is moving towards the renewable energy.
“It would be like a backflip, the twentieth century to the nineteenth century, replacing oil with coal, when we have all natural, technological and legal conditions to move towards a XXI century energy free of fuel supply costs”.
It was noted noted that neither the sun nor wind nor water bill us, allowing for an electric and energy matrix at very low cost, free of imports of oil, gas and mineral coal that consume annually the equivalent of 7.6% of Domestic Gross Product of the Dominican economy.
It was explained that in the Law on National Development Strategy No. 12/01 it was agreed to realize the Electrical Pact because of the seriousness of the country’s situation in regards to climate change, so it established, as the focal point of this covenant, reducing dioxide emissions especially from the electricity industry and de-carbonization of the energy system and the national economy.
“While it is true that levels of CO2 emissions from the Dominican Republic can not be compared with those of developed countries, although we are at the head of the Caribbean and Central America, immediately after Trinidad Tobago, however we are one of the ten most vulnerable countries to the effects of climate change, such as cyclones, droughts, sea level rise and diseases associated with temperature increases producing by global warming, ”
It was argued that it is vital that the Electricity Pact agreed convert Punta Catalina from coal to natural gas, which is a solution that would save this project from stagnation to have this conversion cost below 25% of the investment remaining to finish building it and also would count on the soft financing from multilateral banks by stop being coal powered.
It was urged the Electricity Pact set the goal of 85% renewable energy by 2030, in order for the country to achieve its energy sovereignty, reduce emissions in the electricity sector from 20 million tons of C02 per year to only 3 million tons, and a power supply is achieved with the cheapest rates in our history in a sustainable way.
The CNLCC as a non-negotiable point requires immediate reduction in at least 30% of the current electricity tariff. “If the Electricity Pact does not produce this reduction it will disqualify before the people, no matter what arguments are used to justify not taking this measure or worse, to increase the electricity tariff, as suggested by the Superintendency of Electricity by applying the so-called technical rate.”
“How to explain that during the last two years that much of the savings of the oil bill as a result of the drop from $140 to less than $40 a barrel, has been applied in the construction of Punta Catalina, instead of lowering automatically the electricity tariff at the consumer level as required by law? “it was asked.
I was also demanded that the Electricity Pact benefit people with compensation for blackouts as established by the General Electricity Law No. 125-01.
It was also noted that while electric power from renewable sources is introduced, 35% of current technical losses and electricity fraud must be reduced in less than three years.