MANILA — The Philippines’ energy department has declared a moratorium on new coal-fired power plants, following a reassessment of the country’s energy system. But while the ban halts applications for new plants, it will not extend to previously approved projects that are already in the pipeline. Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi, who has been criticized for not pursuing carbon-free power generation more aggressively, announced the department’s planned coal plant moratorium at a ministerial conference on renewable energy in Singapore on Oct. 27. “While we have initially embraced a technology-neutral policy, our periodic assessment of our country’s energy requirements is paving the way for innovative adaptations in our policy direction,” Cusi said, adding the move will help the Philippines shift to a “more flexible power supply mix … flexible enough to accommodate the entry of new, cleaner, and indigenous technological innovations.” The coal-fired Quezon Power Plant in Mauban, Quezon. The 511MW power plant was commissioned in 2000 and is owned and operated by Quezon Power (Philippines), Limited Co. Image by Lawrence Ruiz (Epi Fabonan III) via Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 4.0) The department has not yet identified the proposed power plants that would be affected by the moratorium, but the ban could “result in the cancellation of over 13.79-GW of new coal plants” and herald a transition to renewable energy, a network of local and regional anti-coal groups said in a press release. “The decision of the Philippine Department of Energy [DOE] to cease its endorsement of new coal-fired power plants is…This article was originally published on Mongabay Läs mer