Sunday, October 01, 2023

BWorld 641, Power generation mix and fiscal irresponsibility

Power generation mix and fiscal irresponsibility
September 21, 2023 | 12:02 am

My Cup Of Liberty
By Bienvenido S. Oplas, Jr.

Last week the Independent Electricity Market Operator of the Philippines (IEMOP) released the market operations highlights for the August 2023 Wholesale electricity spot market (WESM) results. The power supply in the Luzon grid was rising while demand was falling that month, leading to high reserve margins and hence, lower prices — only P4.12/kWh for the September billing from an average of P5.54/kWh in June and July. Good.


The generation mix shows the continued important role of coal power to avoid blackouts nationwide. The average coal use for June to August was about 61% of total power generation, while the favored intermittent solar and wind combined contributed only about 2.8% of total generation (see Table 1).

Among the recent developments in the energy sector as published in BusinessWorld and reported by Sheldeen Joy Talavera were: “Electricity spot prices fall in Luzon, Visayas in early September” (Sept. 14); “DoE signals annual review of power firms’ use of energy storage systems” (Sept. 14); “Meralco plans to invest in electric cooperatives” (Sept. 15); “NGCP secures regulatory nod on ancillary services” (Sept. 15); “DoE wants reserve power spot market to start commercial operations by Dec.” (Sept. 17); “Energy dep’t preparing airlines for sustainable fuel phase-in by 2027” (Sept. 18); and, “DoE floats scheme allowing proponents to identify potential biomass, WTE sites” (Sept. 19).

The good news is that private distribution utilities (DUs) like Meralco will invest in, and I hope someday will take over, the operation of electricity distribution in many provinces. Electric cooperatives are non-corporate entities monitored and even pampered by a political body, the National Electrification Administration (NEA). Private corporate DUs on the other hand are strictly monitored by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).


About high rice prices, not yet on the radar of public discourse is the role of many solar farms. Currently, thousands of hectares of agricultural lands — including rice farms — have been converted or are soon to be converted into solar farms. The average yield or productivity of Philippine rice is 4.1 tons/hectare per year, 4.5 tons/hectare for irrigated lands, and 3.3 tons/hectare for non-irrigated lands.

Solar land requirements on average are around 1.3 hectares/MW. So, a 200-MW solar plant will require about 260 hectares of land, or about 1,066 tons (4.1 tons/hectare x 260 hectares) of rice which will be gone from Philippine annual production, permanently.

To lower rice prices, our rice land should expand and/or yield per hectare must rise significantly. With the continued reduction of rice land partly due to conversion to solar farms, we can expect that future rice prices will remain elevated.


Meanwhile, the US and industrial West continue with their fiscal irresponsibility through profligate overspending and high borrowings. US 10-year government bonds are now at a 16-year high while Japan’s are at a 10-year high. China so far is avoiding this trend (see Table 2).

High government bond rates mean high annual interest payment for those borrowings. We should rein in public spending and borrowings whenever possible while encouraging more businesses and job creation that pay various taxes to the government.

The military and uniformed personnel (MUP) pension reform bill passed by the House of Representatives has institutionalized that system as a major deficit generator yearly, a big and burdensome cost for taxpayers yearly. No thanks to the hard lobbying by the MUP camps, and no thanks to various professional and business organizations that were so brave to publicly criticize the Maharlika Fund as a public finance issue, but which are so silent or too cowardly to speak up on the MUP pension which is a much, much bigger public finance issue. I have little respect for them.

See also:
BWorld 638, Global Philippines: The successful FIBA hosting in Manila and the OGP Summit, Sept. 24, 2023
BWorld 639, Energy realism: Why we need more coal, gas and nuclear power plants, September 28, 2023
BWorld 640, Financing growth: PEB in Qatar and UAE, mining tax, and liberalized wage setting, Sept. 29, 2023.

Jayant Bhandari on India, Indians, Canada and Wokeism

I am reposting recent tweets, articles by a Canadian-Indian free marketer friend, Jayant Bhandari. He organizes the annual forum in Canada, "Capitalism and Morality." I always enjoy his frank, often brutally honest assessment of India, Indians, and leftist philosophies. Enjoy.

I. Recent tweets, from his account @JayantBhandari5: 

Sep 28
Just a reminder. I am a financial analyst, and I must weigh factors properly. Whatever I say about India is a well-calculated, well-balanced portrayal of what I see from my chauffeur-driven air-conditioned car. For 99.99% of Indians, the reality is much worse.

Sep 27
Hundreds of colleges in Canada are structured not for education but to enable unqualified, low-IQ people to immigrate. Canada is on a suicidal mission.

Sep 26
They hate me, oppose me and then under the continual onslaught of reason and evidence either give in or stop coming. Then they write nice things to me for showing them the light. Then they hit a glass ceiling and start hating me again.

Sep 25
Only warriors can be forgiving, compassionate, and peace-loving. Only warriors create civilization. "Pacifism" is a euphemism for timidity and an orientation for lifestyle rather than doing what is right.

Sep 24
Black-on-East-Asian violence is by far the most significant racial issue of the USA, but mostly ignored. Moreover, East Asians have a proud culture. They hesitate to blame others. Example: I have never met a Japanese who blames the US for what it did in WW2.

Sep 23
Who thinks that this is going to end well for Europe? My view: The West has already done hara-kiri. It is living off the inertia. Canada, the US, the UK, Australia, and NZ will be Third-World-people majority countries in a decade or so.

(Quote @RadioGenoa Sep 22
Lampedusa now. Giorgia Meloni dumps them in Italian cities. They will then be free to travel illegally to France, UK, Ireland, Germany, Sweden, Netherlands, Austria and Switzerland. You know it

II. Articles in lewrockwell:

1. Canada: The Great Replacement
September 28, 2023

Canada’s population grew by more than one million in 2022. This increase was equivalent to 2.7%. Such a rate would double Canada’s population in 26 years.

When I moved to Canada in 2003, its population was 32 million. Today, it is 40 million, an increase of 25%.

Before the early 1970s, most immigrants came from Europe. Today, only 10% of the total immigrants come from Europe. This matters.

Last year’s immigrants represented 200 countries of the world, representing 450 different mother tongues. India is by far the most significant source of immigration, accounting for 27% of total immigrants. A distant second is China, with 7%. Third is Afghanistan, with 5.4%. Fourth is Nigeria, with 5%.

Canadians have put Canada on a path to inevitable destruction.

Did I leave India because of its utterly venal and oppressive government? Not really. They are utterly stupid, and bribes take care of everything. But the character of the government is a symptom of the underlying society. It was the Indian society that I ran away from, which has no concept of honor, integrity, moral values, rationality, or interest in anything except the material, which is money and sex.

More precisely, I ran away from Indians.

Sometimes, Canadian airports and train stations look indistinguishable from Indian ones, except that you can still get a train ticket without paying a bribe, the ticket-seller treats you respectfully albeit a bit less by each passing day, the trains still operate reasonably well albeit continue to worsen, and you still don’t see cockroaches inside the compartments. But you will get there.

Eventually, trains will collide, killing hundreds; massive forest fires will happen not because of climate change but because of a lack of work ethics, incompetence, and apathy; bridges will fall apart, infrastructure will deteriorate, quality of hygiene will worsen, and nepotism and bribery will become commonplace. But unless you understand this article, you will fail to pinpoint the reason.

It is a gross mistake to think that people leave their home countries to escape their tyrants. As in North Korea, the real tyrants do not let their people escape. Virtually everyone else is running away from the hellhole they created for themselves. They are part and parcel of the hellhole they left behind. They remake their host country in the image of what they left behind. When you bring them in, you bring the subtle, subliminal ways they will participate in making Canada a hellhole.

Civilization is a uniquely Western concept. The Third World, where most Canadian immigrants come from, has no interest in Western values. For them, concepts like honor, honesty, and fairness are alien. They are driven by expediency and the acquisition of resources. Desperate in their Third World hellhole, it is not the absence of liberty or the rule of law that worries them. They are blind to them. They are only interested in money.

They have no interest in Western values or liberty. They are not running away from tyranny. They like it. They have a visceral hatred for peace and order. I might even add that they find Western values abhorrent.

When you bring people of the Third World, you get the Third World. You convert your society into the Third World. Alas, even if Canada ended immigration today, it is too late for Canada. It is well on its way to becoming a Third World majority country.

The people of the future will be amused by how, using simplistic, unexamined, faulty myths of multiculturalism and diversity, Canada, which was once a great country, destroyed itself. They will be amused that, afraid of being canceled and to preserve their lifestyles from marauding leftists and wokes, Canadians let their land be ransacked within two generations.

2. Falling Apart of the Civilization
August 31, 2022

A rapidly rising insidious religion is wreaking havoc in the West and the Third World….

It looks cute, non-violent, mostly innocuous, secular, and even kind-hearted.

… It has come to be known as “wokeism,” a belief system of no beliefs, a value system of no values, where there is no objective morality. If you engage in female genital mutilation as an immigrant, there is no problem among the “wokes.” You have the right to preserve your culture.

… Their ideology is deeply imbued with multiculturalism, diversity, feminism, LGBTQ, environmentalism, egalitarianism, affirmative actions, safe spaces, etc. It is not that there is a problem with any of the issues they raise, but they lack comprehension or understanding of the associated costs. More importantly, behind the façade of their activism is an attempt to transfer the responsibility for their failure in life to others and to get free resources.

What matters to the wokes is virtue-signaling while they have no empathy or compassion for anyone—their materialistic, animalistic desires drive them. Lacking any moral fabric, they have no inhibitions about dipping their hands in others’ pockets. They feel no shame in asking for the unearned. Lacking self-responsibility, they always have someone to blame for their real or imagined suffering. Unable to think critically or think at all, they don’t want their valueless, hedonistic, animalistic ways to be challenged.

Most people think wokeism to be childish and irresponsible. Some might say that a dose of wokeism can soften fundamentalist Islam. What is wrong if something challenges the fundamentalism that Islam engenders? That is until you have not experienced wokeism. I should know better. I grew up in a woke culture—in India—which had no values, morality, or civilizational constraints and where getting away with crime was glorified.

… Evil hardly ever is a fierce-looking, sharp-toothed devil. It is usually alluring. It caters to our animalistic instincts.

… Is wokeism worse than communism, which killed millions in the last century? Yes. An unmoored boat does not drift away to the open ocean right away. In the initial stages, society’s lack of moral structure might look like relaxation of social constraints and liberty. Still, the result is evident in cultures of the Third World, where moral values are conspicuous by their absence. Indians killed four million people in a three-country settlement after the so-called independence from the British. They have no empathy for over a billion people who live lives worse than that of cockroaches, generation after generation.

Wokeism is the ultimate in no-civilization and must lead to a feral existence, where the only value is the animalistic might-is-right, a freewheeling life of substance abuse, and abusing others.

3. Wokeness: Where has Honor Gone?
October 4, 2021

… I have felt belittled, degraded, and less human whenever I have been offered benefits based on my skin colour. And why shouldn’t I? What makes someone think that I can’t stand without his support? The bigotry of the wokes, who claim to fight against bigotry, makes me feel sick. I wonder why anyone who asks for privileges based on sex, skin color, or sexual orientation doesn’t feel the same. Don’t they have an iota of honor?

…. One must find honor before starting to feel human.  Without character and values, there are no foundations on which to build a better life. That is the most important reason why Europe and its offshoots emerged from eternal poverty, borderline starvation, Malthusian existence and became successful. If the core philosophy is not retained, the successes and prosperity will disappear.

To fight racism, sexism, and homophobia, policymakers in the West assume that the presumed sufferers must be too weak to deal unaided with heterosexual males of European ethnicity.  To accept this condescension and the engineered successes it offers dehumanizes those it claims to help.

See also: 
Pol. Ideology 64, Big World Government or Smaller Countries and Governments? June 03, 2015 
Jayant Bhandari on Democracy, Trump and Soleimani, June 04, 2020 
Jayant Bhandari on the recent US riots, June 14, 2020
Jayant Bhandari on the US elections, December 05, 2020.

Friday, September 29, 2023

BWorld 640, Financing growth: PEB in Qatar and UAE, mining tax, and liberalized wage setting

Financing growth: PEB in Qatar and UAE, mining tax, and liberalized wage setting
September 19, 2023 | 12:01 am

My Cup Of Liberty
By Bienvenido S. Oplas, Jr.

(Part 3 of a series)

Last week, the Philippine economic team embarked on more economic diplomacy with two non-deal roadshows in the Middle East. The economic team is composed of Finance Secretary Benjamin Diokno, Budget Secretary Amenah Pangandaman, Economics Secretary Arsenio Balisacan, and Bangko Sentral Governor Eli Remolona. The latter was represented on this trip by Deputy Governor Francis Dakila. National Treasurer Rosalia de Leon also joined the team.


The two major events were the “Philippine Dialogue: Economic Outlook and Opportunities” in Doha, Qatar on Sept. 10, and the “Philippine Economic Briefing” (PEB) in Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE) on Sept. 11-12.

Qatar and UAE are among the richest countries in the world on a per capita income basis. Their wealth largely comes from production and export of oil and gas, plus tourism and finance. So, it is a bright idea that the economic team went there to attract investors.

Qatar is the third-largest destination for overseas Filipino workers (OFWs), with more than 200,000 Filipinos working and residing there. In 2022, bilateral trade with Qatar amounted to $599.2 million, more than double 2021’s $224.5 million.

The UAE is our 6th largest source of OFW remittances, our 17th major trading partner, our 21st largest export market, and our 16th largest import supplier.

I put together a table showing some basic economic indicators of the Philippines, Qatar, and the UAE, and also Singapore where the economic team already held two PEBs. I also included basic energy indicators, plus data on Indonesia and Malaysia, the two big oil and gas producers in the ASEAN. The energy indicators are: primary energy consumption (PEC) in gigajoules per capita (GJ/capita), oil production in thousand barrels per day (tbpd), natural gas production and liquefied natural gas (LNG) exports in billion cubic meters (bcm).

The Qatar and the UAE’s very high GDP per capita, in both nominal and purchasing power parity (PPP) values, are consistent with their huge PEC. The Philippines’ low GDP per capita is also consistent with its low PEC of only 18.2 GJ/capita vs Qatar’s 699 and UAE’s 535 GJ/capita (see Table 1).

The Philippines should aspire to be a major oil and gas producer someday. We should have more natgas fields like Malampaya, and drill for more oil offshore. Malaysia and Indonesia can share some expertise while Qatar and the UAE can put in the funding and investments to supplement local investments.

In Qatar, the economic team headed by Secretary Diokno met with the Qatar finance minister and the top executives of Qatar Cool; their sovereign wealth fund, the Qatar Investment Authority (QIA); the Qatar Insurance Co. (QIC); and the Qatar National Bank (QNB), among others.

In the UAE, the two-day roadshow included the economic team’s visits to Nasdaq Dubai, and the UAE Minister of Foreign Trade and Minister of Finance. They also met with executives of Arqaam Capital, Millennium Capital, Waha Capital, the Investment Corp. of Dubai (ICD), the Dubai Islamic Bank (DIB), the Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank (ADIB), Emirates NBD Asset Management (ENBD AM), and the Kuwait Finance House (KFH), among others.

In her speeches in Doha and Dubai, Budget Secretary Pangandaman discussed the country’s digital transformation agenda to improve public service delivery and reduce the cost of doing business in the country. As the Philippines’ only Muslim Cabinet Secretary visiting two rich Muslim countries, she highlighted that the Philippines has allocated P74.35 billion for the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) alone, to help uplift the lives of people there.


The biggest annual conference of the country’s mining industry will be held this week, Sept. 19-20, at the Edsa Shangri-La Hotel. I will be one of the speakers in the last important panel of Day 2, about mining fiscal regime.

I checked how much output the industry has contributed to the country and the taxes it has paid, and the numbers are significant. In 2022, large-scale metallic mining, small-scale gold mining, and non-metallic mining like coal, had a combined output of P318 billion, and paid P44.8 billion in taxes, fees, and royalties. This is a big jump from 2021’s already high level of P233 billion in output and P40 billion in taxes (see Table 2).

If one looks at the mandatory spending for communities like the Social Development and Management Program (SDMP) or social tax, on top of the national and local government taxes and royalties, the industry pays a lot. I will discuss this and other fiscal topics on Day 2 of the conference.


Last Friday, Sept. 15, I attended a discussion on the “Proposed legislated wage increase, other economic issues, reactions by business groups” at the Pandesal Forum in Kamuning, Quezon City. The speakers were George Barcelon, President of the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI), Sergio Ortiz Luis, Jr., President of Philippine Exporters Confederation, Inc. (PhilExport), and Dr. Cecilio Pedro, President of the Federation of Filipino Chinese Chambers of Commerce and Industry, Inc. (FFCCCII). The moderator was Wilson Lee Flores.

Mr. Barcelon read the PCCI’s letter that it had sent to the Senate about another round of legislated mandatory wage hikes nationwide and noted that “rising inflation also negatively impacted businesses. Of these, 98% are micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs)…. these employers may have to further increase the prices of their products, reduce the number of their workers, or simply close down. Large firms which are capable of paying the wage increase only make up less than 2% of all Philippine companies.”

Good statement, sirs. As a market advocate, I believe in THREE important principles. One: Employment is a private contract between employers and employees, not between government and employees, and government should not impose their decisions and demands on employers. Two: Wages are tied to productivity, not the number of children the workers have, nor the increase in cost of living, and political pressures. And, three, wage differentiation and liberalization create more jobs and expands labor choices.

See also:
BWorld 637, High inflation with high growth, the case of the Philippines, Indonesia and India, Sept. 22, 2023
BWorld 638, Global Philippines: The successful FIBA hosting in Manila and the OGP Summit, Sept. 24, 2023
BWorld 639, Energy realism: Why we need more coal, gas and nuclear power plants, September 28, 2023.

Deindustrialization 20, Germany's departing companies, EV slowdown

More reports here of creeping deindustrialization, degrowth in Germany. 
Meanwhile, electricity spot prices the last 5 years, chart from Trading Economics.

1. High Energy Bills Force German Industry to Eye Production Abroad
Almost a third of manufacturers considering or executing shift
Survey shows companies concerned about competitiveness
By Petra Sorge 29 August 2023

Over half of surveyed companies say the energy transition is having negative or very negative effects on their competitiveness, according to a report by the German Chamber of Commerce and Industry. Among manufacturers, almost a third are considering or already executing a production shift abroad — twice as much as during last year’s energy crisis.

2. Power failure in Germany - Horror scenario or genuine possibility?
DW Documentary
Deutsche Welle, 1 September 2023 

3. German electricity imports hit new record as nuclear phase-out increases production cost
Despite closing its nuclear power plants to focus on renewable energy production, more than a fifth of imported electricity last month was produced from nuclear power
THOMAS BROOKE September 02, 2023

The federal government has replaced much of the electricity produced by its recently closed nuclear power stations with imported electricity, almost half of which was ironically produced using nuclear power and fossil fuels.

This resulted in a significant electricity trade balance deficit, with the country importing €557 million worth of electricity more than it exported to its EU neighbors last month.

4. How heat pumps exploded Germany’s ruling coalition
Olaf Scholz’s government wanted to be a pioneer in climate protection. The effort has come at a very high political price.
Berlin Mayor Giffey Visits Coal-Fired Thermal Power Plant
Months of pained negotiations over the heating bill caused public infighting within Germany’s ruling coalition

5. Germany Onshore Wind Auction Dip Casts Doubt on Renewable Goals
Just 1.4 gigawatts of capacity was awarded in latest auction
Country needs to triple wind capacity by 2030 to reach targets
By Petra Sorge 8 September 2023

6. Weekend Read: A 10 GW time bomb
It is estimated that 10 GW of solar modules in Germany suffer from prematurely aging backsheets, with sites of all sizes affected. pv magazine Germany’s Cornelia Lichner looks at how to detect and repair such defects.

7. China and Germany: Firing Up Coal Power While Wind Takes a Back Seat
Countries postpone lofty climate goals to adapt to demands of reality.
Bridget Ryder September 9, 2023

8. How Olaf Scholz turned Germany into the 'sick man of the world'
A complex mixture of factors led to the malaise exposed in the chancellor’s speech this week
By Jörg Luyken 10 September 2023

9. Yes, The “World’s Dumbest Energy Policy” Is In Fact Getting A Whole Lot Dumber
By P Gosselin on 10. September 2023

Tichy’s Einblick here reports that in the first half of 2023, Germany generated 233.9 billion kilowatt hours of electricity. “Sounds like a lot, but it’s not: In fact, it’s 11.4% less than in the first half of 2022.”

Our electricity imports from France promptly increased more than from any other country: by a whopping 147.8%. In France alone, we bought 4.4 billion kWh in the first half of 2023,” reports Tichy’s Einblick. “We shut down our nuclear power plants. France generates well over two-thirds of its electricity from its nuclear power plants. What does all this tell us?”

10. Germany’s Lindner blasts EU over ‘enormously dangerous’ green plans
Finance minister warns that a Brussels push to make buildings across the bloc more energy-efficient would threaten ‘social peace.’

11. VW is cutting jobs at its German EV factory because demand is plunging

12. Will Germany be the first to ditch its net zero commitments?
Ross Clark 18 September 2023

...Just last year, chemicals giant BASF announced that it would invest in a new £10 billion plant in China rather than Europe, thanks to the cost of energy.

13. Volkswagen boss warns the sale of electric vehicles is 'stagnating' as poll reveals just 2% of drivers would buy one in the near future
By DAVID CHURCHILL 19 September 2023

14. German government to suspend tightening of building efficiency rules
Sören AmelangBenjamin Wehrmann 25 Sep 2023

15. Volkswagen Cuts EV Output at German Sites as Demand Craters
Production of VW, Cupra models in Zwickau halted for two weeks
Expiration of German subsidies leads to decline in demand
By Monica Raymunt. 26 September 2023

16. German airline Lufthansa says it would consume half of Germany’s electricity if it were to switch to green fuels

Prarthana Prakash September 26, 2023

See also:
Deindustrialization 17, Germany recession, ESG problems, August 17, 2023
Deindustrialization 18, Germany recession and degrowth, August 30, 2023
Deindustrialization 19, UK and EU and rising cost of net zero, Sept. 17, 2023.

Thursday, September 28, 2023

BWorld 639, Energy realism: Why we need more coal, gas and nuclear power plants

Energy realism: Why we need more coal, gas and nuclear power plants
September 14, 2023 | 12:02 am

My Cup Of Liberty
By Bienvenido S. Oplas, Jr.

(Part 5)

I attended Day 1 of the Giga Summit 2023 organized by the Meralco Power Academy, which was held from Sept. 11 to 13. I was particularly interested in the viability of nuclear power generation in the Philippines and there were three good speakers that afternoon.

They were Ike Dimayuga of Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd. talked about small modular reactors (SMR), Roland Backhaus of Ultra Safe Nuclear in the US talked about micro modular reactors (MMR), and representative Mark Cojuangco of Pangasinan’s 2nd District and author of HB 6030, “An Act Providing for a Comprehensive Nuclear Regulatory Framework, Creating for the Purpose the Philippine Atomic Energy Regulatory Authority, and Appropriating Funds Therefor.”

Among the stories reported in BusinessWorld from Days 1 and 2 of the Giga Summit were: “Meralco taps US company to study nuclear energy development in PHL” (Sept. 12), “AboitizPower on track to build LNG facility” (Sept. 12), “ERC: Revised CSP guidelines expected by end of September” (Sept. 12), and “Net metering program reaches 8,500 customers” (Sept. 13).

Mr. Dimayuga emphasized nuclear power’s main advantage, which is high energy density as just a small amount of fuel can generate a huge amount of energy, and so it requires the least amount of land to generate electricity. And once built, a nuclear plant can operate for many years with low operating costs. He mentioned that some SMRs that can run for 20 years non-stop, 24/7.

Mr. Cojuangco pointed out that nuclear power is the safest energy source of all — in cases of power plant accidents, it has the lowest deaths per terawatt-hour (TWH). He also mentioned that if the 620-MW Bataan Nuclear Power Plant (BNPP) was allowed to operate, 18 months of continuous operation would need only 20 tons of fuel assemblies, which can fit in just one truck.

Mr. Backhaus said MMRs are safe and can be sited anywhere as they have modular designs and brief on-site construction period. They have a plant life of 40 years, with three to 30 years refueling period — very practical.

The speakers recognized that public perception of nuclear power remains generally negative, so they emphasized the safety aspect of nuke plants, whether large like the BNPP or SMR or MMR.

The last nuclear accident was the Fukushima reactor meltdown in Japan in 2011, which resulted in no casualties. The last major nuclear accident before that was the Chernobyl reactor in Ukraine, then under the USSR, which resulted in about 60 casualties.

I put together a table showing the per capita energy consumption of coal, natural gas, and nuclear in various countries. It is clear that the high consumption of thermal power and/or nuclear power leads to a more modern life, more developed economies, and longer life expectancy of the people in those countries.

The most coal-intensive countries in the world — those which consume more than 50 gigajoules (GJ) per capita — are Poland, Estonia, Kazakhstan, Taiwan, China, Australia, South Korea, South Africa, and the Czech Republic. They also have high gas consumption (except South Africa and Estonia) and have high life expectancies of 70-83 years.

The most nuclear-intensive countries in the world — which consumed more than 20 GJ per capita in 2022 — are Sweden, Finland, France, Belgium, Switzerland, the Czech Republic, Bulgaria, Slovakia, Slovenia, Canada, the USA, and South Korea. And all of them have long life expectancies, 72 years and up. So the narrative that “nuclear power is dangerous, more deaths” is fiction.

The United Arab Emirate is a surprise newcomer in nuclear power. A powerhouse in oil and gas production, their first nuclear electricity generating plant started only in 2020 with 1.6 TWH, jumping to 20.1 TWH in 2022. Now they have nuke consumption of 18 GJ per capita.

The other speakers on Day 1 were Dr. Caleb Brooks of the University of California, Berkley, Tat Ming Yu of PacificLight Pte. Ltd. in Singapore, Emmanuel Rubio of Aboitiz Power (AP), and Dan Neil of MGen Power and Global Business Power (GBP).

Mr. Tat Yu discussed something which I consider a disturbing trend — Singapore will raise the carbon tax from the current $5/ton to $25/ton in 2024-2025, the increase it to $45/ton in 2026-2027, and $50-80/ton by 2030. Singapore developed fast on cheap, stable energy but now thinks expensive energy is beautiful and wants to follow the UK, Germany, other western countries in shooting themselves in the foot in the wild pursuit of “net zero.” It is understandable if they shoot themselves in the foot provided they wear bullet-proof shoes, but they do not.

Mr. Rubio emphasized that “Meeting today’s energy needs is imperative. It fuels our nation’s growth, sustains our industries, and powers our homes. A secure energy system is not a luxury but a necessity.” I fully agree with him on this, including one of his slides showing that the country needs “consistent enforcement of regulations, strengthening of political and regulatory institutions, fostering transparent markets, reducing energy taxes, creating an investor-friendly environment.”

Mr. Neil said that “Towards a balanced energy mix: Expansion in both RE and baseload capacity is a way forward for MGen.” I also fully agree with him. Their current renewables comprise 10% of total capacity and will rise to 39% by 2027, meaning some 61% of MGen’s power will still be conventional thermal — good.

I briefly passed by on Day 2 of the conference and saw the presentation by the Ayala group including ACEN. Their goal is weird — net zero by 2050 and 100% renewables-only power generation. I say “weird” because the main business of the Ayalas is real estate, not power generation. They have 32 big malls, 24 hotels and resorts, 264 residential condos, 88 office condos, etc. These hotels and condos need electricity 24/7. Last July, we had three weeks straight of cloudy days and on-off rain, and it was not windy either. In early September we have had one week straight of similar weather. Solar output at night is zero and solar power had very little output in the daytime due to the clouds and rain. Those glitzy condos and malls were running on coal and gas, the energy sources they demonize but which save their malls and hotels from blackouts.

I think MGen, AP, and SMC Power with their coal and gas plants are the conglomerate heroes of Philippine’s bid for industrialization. Germany and the UK have had two to three decades of “decarbonization” policies and they have not succeeded until now. We should focus on our national agenda — more sustained growth, more jobs for our people, more lights for our houses, schools, offices and streets. Net zero and the climate crisis are just narratives with dangerous policy implications of deindustrialization and degrowth economics. We should avoid these.

See also:
BWorld 636, Economic basis of net zero is zero, September 18, 2023
BWorld 637, High inflation with high growth, the case of the Philippines, Indonesia and India, Sept. 22, 2023
BWorld 638, Global Philippines: The successful FIBA hosting in Manila and the OGP Summit, Sept. 24, 2023.

Fiscal irresponsibility 31, Another US government shutdown, implications for PH and other countries

In two days, September 30, the US federal government will be in another "shutdown" due to absence of new spending law. During shutdown, thousands of federal employees who are deemed "non-essential" will be on furlough or suspension, some non-essential programs are suspended. 

I checked the US 10-year Treasury bond, Sept 2007 to Sept 2023 below. 
And further below is US Fed rates, Sept 2001 to Sept 2023. Charts from Trading Economics.

Some recent papers I saw.

JPM's Dimon Warns: World Not Ready For Fed's Stagflationary Response
Tyler Durden SEP 26, 2023

I am not sure if the world is prepared for 7%.
I ask people in business, 'are you prepared for something like 7%?' The worst case is 7% with stagflation.
If they are going to have lower volumes and higher rates, there will be stress in the system.
We urge our clients to be prepared for that kind of stress.

A Crisis Is Coming: Who Is Swimming Naked?
By Michael Lebowitz | September 27, 2023

Government Shutdown: Toward the Brink

This shutdown is different because it’s not about a specific policy issue such as Obamacare or the wall. It’s about the way the entire government finances itself and ways to cut spending to restore some fiscal sanity to Washington. Those are the biggest budget issues since the current budget process was enacted in 1976.

Peter Schiff: It’s the Beginning of the End of This Whole Phony Economy

In a nutshell, the economy is buried under trillions in debt. The cost of the debt is rising. The economy simply isn’t built to handle an even moderately high interest rate environment.

And what is the biggest factor driving that inflation risk?

It’s the size of government deficits. Because the bigger the government deficits are, the more inflation the government is likely to create. So, when you have large fiscal deficits, you would expect to have a higher premium on longer-term bonds.”

Implications for the PH and other countries?

Prolonged high US interest rates means pressure on the PH Peso and other currencies will rise, their governments and central banks have to keep up with interest rate hikes or risk having more national currency depreciation relative to the US$ and other major currencies. Either way can lead to more inflation in other countries.

Another option (aside from raising domestic interest rates) for PH and other countries is to greatly diversify the forex reserves of central banks towards other major currencies, settle payments in goods and services in other currencies aside from the US.

More importantly, other countries should not follow what the US government is doing -- overspending, overborrowing, frequent govt shutdown due to high levels of spending and taxes/revenues needed to support spending.

US fiscal irresponsibility will continue for decades. Comedy in 2023, US will furlough tens of thousands of their employees while US keeps sending billions $ to Ukraine to pay the salaries of their civilian and military bureaucracies, on top of billions $ for military spending.

See also:
Fiscal Irresponsibility 24: More on the PIIGS and European Debt, May 16, 2012
Fiscal Irresponsibility 29, On the so-called DBM "Underspending" in 2014, June 20, 2015
Fiscal Irresponsibility 30, Grexit is another socialist failure, July 08, 2015.

Cicero, welfarism and fiscal irresponsibility, August 11, 2016
Welfarism 35, Healthcare is not personal/parental responsibility, only state responsibility, February 14, 2020.

Sunday, September 24, 2023

BWorld 638, Global Philippines: The successful FIBA hosting in Manila and the OGP Summit

Sept. 12, 2023 

Last week, two important global events concluded successfully. One was the final games of the Fédération Internationale de Basketball Amateur (FIBA) World Cup, last Sunday, Sept. 10. The second was the Open Government Partnership (OGP) Global Summit in Estonia last Sept. 7.


The Philippines hosted some of the FIBA games, which were held from Aug. 25 to Sept. 10.

Some 80 country-teams went through qualifying games to join the top 32 teams that would play in the FIBA World Cup 2023. Of the 32 teams that went to Asia to play in the elimination rounds, eight each were hosted by Japan and Indonesia, and 16 by the Philippines. The 16 teams that survived the elimination round held their games in the Philippines.

I watched the opening games between Angola and Italy, then the Dominican Republic vs. Gilas Pilipinas on Aug. 25 at the Philippine Arena in Bulacan. My daughter Bien Mary and two friends, Luis and Simon, Filipino-German boys who live in Bavaria and who were on vacation here, joined me.

I also watched the semi-final games on Sept. 8 at the Mall of Asia (MOA) Arena: Serbia vs. Canada, then Germany vs. The USA. My two daughters, Bien Mary and Elle Marie, joined me for one game apiece. Then I watched the final game — Germany vs. Serbia — on Sept. 10, with my wife, Ella.

Over the past two weeks, the Philippines had been on the sports pages of many newspapers and sports channels around the world. One of the opening games was particularly electrifying for the local crowd because it was Gilas Pilipinas’ first game — more than 38,000 people watched it live. I wrote about it in my previous column, “BRICS energy and Philippine hosting of FIBA games” (Aug. 29).

This column is supposed to be about economic analysis and not sports analysis, so I will discuss the economics of the country hosting FIBA, led by the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP), with the support by two government agencies, the Philippine Sports Commission and Philippine Olympic Committee.


Here are the main beneficiaries of hosting FIBA: private sector economic players.

The first beneficiaries were the three arenas or stadiums where the games were played — Philippine Arena in Bulacan, the MOA Arena in Pasay City, and the Araneta Coliseum in Quezon City. Ticket prices were high, and attendance was high only during the opening games, the semi-finals, and the finals.

The next beneficiaries were the hotels, malls, restaurants and bars near the game venues. These were around MOA itself, the PICC area and Roxas Blvd., Pasay, Makati, Ortigas, and Quezon City.

Then there were the airlines, and the bus and van companies that transported the players, officials, staff, and security people, and companies that provided their food and other logistical needs.

Also benefiting were the telecom companies, and internet and mobile data providers.

Finally, the energy and electricity companies that provided 24/7 power needs of the hotels, malls, arena, etc. did well too.

Just assuming that around 20,000 balikbayans and foreigners spent $200/day for two weeks, that is $4 million or P280 million added to the local economy. The locals in the five business sectors mentioned above who earned more during the competition would also spend their earnings elsewhere — this is called the “multiplier effect” of higher or rising income.

We will now try to quantify the economic contribution of hosting the FIBA. Here I make two assumptions: First, a 6.5% GDP growth in the third quarter (Q3) of 2023, mainly coming from household and private spending (foreigners and locals), the rise in government infrastructure spending, and net exports of goods and services (especially tourism). Second, a sensitivity analysis of the contribution of FIBA hosting, including the multiplier effect. A 0.1% contribution to the GDP from FIBA hosting would have added some P5.1 billion in Q3 alone; a lower 0.05% contribution would give the domestic economy some P2.5 billion (see Table 1).


The medium- and long-term benefits of hosting this important international sports event will be felt in the coming quarters and years. This is mainly through the increase in tourism, trade and investments in the country as more people abroad would have seen the games, the arenas, the big city, the people, the big population of always smiling and peaceful non-rioting people.

The country, the Philippine economy, owes the SBP a lot for its leadership in hosting the FIBA World Cup. In particular, SBP President Al Panlilio, and SBP Chairman Emeritus and member of FIBA Central Board, Manuel V. Pangilinan or Mr. MVP. Thanks much, sirs.

Thank you, FIBA leaders, and all the foreign teams that came here for the games. It was hugely entertaining to simply see so many seven-footers, 6’ 11” tall players, and “small” but very fast players like Germany’s 6’ 1” dribbler-shooter Dennis Schroeder, who was the FIBA 2023’s most valuable player (another MVP).

And, of course, thank you Gilas Pilipinas for uniting the country. You did not make it to the quarterfinals, but you made us go wild, screaming every time you scored or blocked an opponent’s shot.

I like this observation by Joe Zaldariaga in his column last month, “Sports: A game changer for the economy” (Philippine Star, Aug. 10). He wrote: “Just as success on the court demands strategic planning, agility, and teamwork, the same attributes fuel a nation’s progress in the business arena. There is reason to believe that a positive correlation exists between sporting achievements and a conducive business environment. President Marcos’ drive to attract foreign investors finds resonance in the FIBA World Cup’s potential to highlight the nation’s capacity to host world-class events — a beacon of business-friendliness.”


Department of Budget and Management (DBM) Secretary Amenah Pangandaman led the Philippine delegation to the OGP Global Summit, which was held on Sept. 5-7 in Estonia.

“Open Government” is broadly defined as one with more transparency, accountability, citizen participation, and technology and innovation by governments. As an economic researcher and writer, I believe there is more transparency now in economic and fiscal data than in the past — budget, taxes, borrowings, GDP, inflation, trade, investments, etc.

Secretary Pangandaman correctly stated in her opening address to the Summit that equipping citizens with adequate knowledge on the National Budget also means enabling them to meaningfully engage in various phases of the budget cycle and at different levels of government.

But I must add that the lockdown dictatorship of 2020 and 2021 had not resulted in humility among many officials, especially in the Health, Defense, and Interior/Police departments, and the local governments. Those officials engineered a draconian economic and political dictatorship that resulted in a huge annual budget deficit, huge annual borrowings, and more citizen dependence on government aid and subsidies.

Open Government should lead us to question and disobey the non-expert “experts” that the lockdown implementers have tapped and imposed on the public. We need more economic freedom, not restrictions on freedom. We need more sustained growth, not deep economic contraction.

See also:
BWorld 635, Financing Growth: reforms in government procurement, MUP pension, and infrastructure, Sept. 17, 2023
BWorld 636, Economic basis of net zero is zero, September 18, 2023
BWorld 637, High inflation with high growth, the case of the Philippines, Indonesia and India, Sept. 22, 2023.

My radio, tv and newspaper interviews this September

This month I have been interviewed on three platforms.

1. TV, Agenda by Cito Beltran last Thursday Sept 21, about the proposed suspension of excise tax on fuel products, see below.

2. Radio, AM radio RMN DXBC in Butuan City, Agusan del Norte last Sept. 14, about illicit tobacco and excise tax on tobacco,

I was also interviewed in RMN's DXDZ Davao hosted by June Duterte, and DXRZ Zamboanga City  hosted by Marlon Simbajon last Sept. 12 on the same subject. Illicit tobacco is more rampant in Mindanao than Luzon and Visayas because most illegal tobacco come from the porous south, from Malaysia, Indonesia, even from China and Vietnam.

3. Interviews in BusinessWorld.

Test-based SUC admission policy will magnify middle-income students’ advantages — PHINMA Education
September 4, 2023 | 8:40 pm
Luisa Maria Jacinta C. Jocson

"... Bienvenido S. Oplas, Jr., president of a research consultancy and of the Minimal Government Thinkers think tank, said the government should concentrate on subsidizing basic education tuition.

“Free education for public elementary and secondary education is understandable. But not so in public tertiary education,” he said in a Viber message...

Meanwhile, Mr. Oplas recommended privatizing state universities.

“All state universities including the University of the Philippines should become private, not abolished. Then all university students will become scholars via government vouchers, say P60,000 per year per student. If a student enrolls in a P150,000 a year university, his or her parents or guardian must pay the balance of P90,000. If a student enrolls in a P60,000 a year university, then no additional payment,” he said.

Mr. Oplas said that this way, the government funds students, and not state universities.

He said such an approach would result in “equal privilege for all tertiary students, no budgetary favoritism as in the current system.”

“All universities will compete to attract more students, improve their education services,” he added."

PHL global economic freedom rating slips
September 21, 2023 | 8:47 pm
John Victor D. Ordoñez

"... Bienvenido S. Oplas, Jr., founder of the think tank Minimal Government Thinkers, said the index likely reflected the effect of lockdowns on the regulation of businesses in 2021.

“The worst lockdown policies in Asia were done in the Philippines  — massive closure of businesses, public transportation, etc.,” he said in a Viber message."

House version of MUP reform may still pose fiscal risks
September 22, 2023 | 12:32 am
Luisa Maria Jacinta C. Jocson

"... Bienvenido S. Oplas, Jr., president of a research consultancy, said the MUP pension system is “very unfair to taxpayers.”

“There is a double standard in the treatment of government personnel. MUP are ‘special’ while government doctors and nurses, government teachers and professors, government agriculturists and engineers, are not special. Whenever the budget deficit remains high, whenever public borrowings and annual interest payment remains high, we can partly blame the ‘special’ MUP pension system. It is a big deficit generator now,” he said in a Viber message."

Friday, September 22, 2023

BWorld 637, High inflation with high growth, the case of the Philippines, Indonesia and India

High inflation with high growth, the case of the Philippines, Indonesia and India
September 7, 2023 | 12:02 am

My Cup Of Liberty
By Bienvenido S. Oplas, Jr.

One concept or theory in economics related to inflation and growth is the Philips Curve. It says that there is an inverse relationship between inflation and unemployment, so high inflation leads to low unemployment and, by extension, high growth because high growth leads to more job creation and hence, low unemployment.

This is not a rock-solid economic law or theory, unlike the law of supply and demand and price movement, and the law of diminishing marginal utility or revenue, with almost 100% accuracy and predictability. But somehow the Philips Curve theory seems to apply in the current situation of the Philippines, Indonesia, and India.

The Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) reported last Wednesday that the country’s inflation rate is 5.3% — breaking six months streak of continued decline in inflation, which was only 4.7% last July.

I construct a table showing the inflation rate and growth rate of major economies in the world, focusing on countries with inflation of 4% or higher in 2023.

Among Group A (Asian countries), the Philippines has the highest average inflation rate this year with 6.6%, followed by India and Indonesia. The three countries are also in the top five of a list of the fastest growing countries among the top 50 largest economies in the world by GDP size, in the first half (H1) of 2023. The other two countries in the top five were the United Arab Emirates at 8.5%, and China at 5.4%.

Singapore has escaped the Philips Curve theory — it has high inflation with low growth. As did the Group B countries (Europe), especially the United Kingdom and Germany which had inflation rates of 9% and 7.1%, and growth of 0.3% and -0.2%, respectively.

Group C — the biggest economies of North and South America — also had high inflation but with modest growth, higher than Europe but lower than the Asians (see Table 1).

So, the high inflation in the Philippines, Indonesia, and India has not cooled down domestic consumption nor production by various sectors. Their huge populations have created dynamic domestic economies that continue to grow despite the worsening global economic environment.

While continued high inflation is bad news in the Philippines, high growth in H1 is good news. And from the PSA data, the main contributors to the 5.3% inflation in August were Alcoholic beverages and tobacco (10.1%), Food and non-alcoholic beverages (8.1%), and Restaurants and accommodation services (7.1%). This implies that many people are going out more: partying, drinking, smoking, and going to restaurants, hotels, and resorts. Which creates more jobs in the services sector.

Jobs creation should continue, be sustained and expanded. So long as people have jobs, they can adjust to rising prices.

The rise in inflation in August coincided with a slow rise in the global prices of oil as OPEC and Russia have cut their production and exports.

In Table 2 is a comparison of the global prices of some important commodities six months apart over the last two years. One can see that oil prices increased in August this year, but these are similar to levels from a year ago. Coal prices have increased slightly, but these are still low compared to prices in January to May this year, and previous months.

Rice prices are not rising fast as predicted by food crisis alarmists due to the current El Niño season and rice export ban by India. Current rice prices are similar to those of a year ago. Corn and wheat prices now are lower than the past two years (see Table 2).

So we should not entertain the alarmist narrative of further rising inflation. Prices are still in their natural modest fluctuation, not on a severe upward or continuously rising trend.

The government can help by cutting food imports tariffs and revive free trade policy especially in food. And the public should continue to do more productive work and be less alarmist, and lobby less for additional food and cash subsidies. If we want cheaper food and other commodities, we should expand food production, move towards more corporate farming and land consolidation with economies of scale. More political accommodations via subsidies that will require more taxation and borrowings will only worsen, not improve, the high inflation problem.

See also: 
BWorld 634, BRICS energy and Philippine hosting of FIBA games, Sept. 16, 2023
BWorld 635, Financing Growth: reforms in government procurement, MUP pension, and infrastructure, Sept. 17, 2023
BWorld 636, Economic basis of net zero is zero, September 18, 2023.

Agenda One News, Part 10

Yesterday I was interviewed again by Cito Beltran in his daily program Agenda (Monday-Friday 8-9am) in One News channel of Cignal TV ( Topic was about the proposed suspension of excise tax on fuel products. It was my 10th apperance or interview in Cito's program.

Cito is among the most prominent columnists of Philippine Star, he writes there 3x a week, On fuel excise tax suspension, he wrote this last Wednesday Sept. 20 supporting the proposal, 

I started by saying that in the first place way back in 2017 during the tax debate in the TRAIN law, I opposed the plan of the DOF then pushed by Sec. Carlos Dominguez and USec. Karl Chua to raise excise tax on gasoline, impose tax on diesel, etc. Tractors, harvesters, irrigation pumps, trucks, fishing boats, etc. use diesel. These are used in farming and fishing, food production and transportation. Fuel products are public goods, not public bad. By raising the cost of farming and fishing "to save the planet", government raises the cost of food production, and we have higher food inflation. Many officials and groups now complain of high food inflation when it was the same groups of people who supported the fuel tax hike/imposition in 2017, implemented in 2018, to help "save the planet."

I also opposed the coal tax hike, from P10/ton to P600/ton as proposed by former NEDA Secretary Ciel Habito in his series of articles in the Inquirer. The TRAIN law passed P150/ton coal tax. (Ciel Habito did not disclose that he was an independent director of FirstGen Corp., mainly in gas power business, making coal power become more epensive to make gas power look relatively cheaper by invoking climate, sneaky). The original links in BusinessWorld are no longer working but I reposted those papers in this blog, (April 10, 2017) (Oct. 25, 2017) (Dec. 28, 2017) (Dec. 30, 2017)

Fast forward to present, with world crude oil prices rising again, domestic prices of gasoline, diesel, aviation fuel, LPG, etc. are rising again. And excise tax on gasoline P10/liter, diesel P6/liter, plus 12% VAT on that additional excise tax (a tax on a tax), they continue to distort oil pricing, distort cost of farming and transportation of food and other commodities.

So I support the suspension of fuel excise tax, revenue loss of P73 B/quarter according to DOF Sec Ben Diokno, but there should be corresponding spending cut by same amount P73 B/quarter, and or removal of VAT exemption by some sectors to raise the same amount, plus address smuggling especially illicit tobacco and get more revenues.

I cited the huge annual budget deficit of P1 trillion/year, huge borrowings. In 2019 we were borrowing about P0.8 trillion, by 2020-2022, we were borrowing about P2.2 trillion/year, could be same amount this year. So Sec. Diokno's opposition to such revenue loss is understandable, the deficit and borrowings will simply become even bigger this year. I believe that any revenue reduction via fuel tax suspension should be accompanied by spending reduction by the same amount if not bigger. Need to identify which spending should be cut, by how much, spending cut even for one quarter.

I also mentioned cutting the subsidy for tertiary education and suspend free tuition in all state universities, magbayad mga estudyante, partial subsidy na lang. Also suspend free irrigation. Proceed with government rightsizing program, and MUP pension should be cut, currently at P164 B/year, MUPs should pay and contribute to their own pension fund. But the House bill passed by Cong. Salceda has practically kept the old system generally intact, ugly.

Then I mentioned the need to cut and minimize tobacco smuggling. Cong Salceda himself estimated this in 2021 as P30B/year of tax losses, former Partylist Cong. Koko Nograles estimates it at P31B up to P60 B/year tax losses. And BIR Commissioner Lumagui himself said it could be up to P100 B/year of tax losses. Assuming the correct figure is P50B/year, we cut it by 50%, that will give the government additional revenues of P25B/year.

My interview portion is at 41:00 mark here, 


Thanks again, Cito, for the opportunity to discuss the subjects of high public spending, lagging revenues, high borrowings, and excise tax reforms especially in oil products.

See also:
Agenda One News, Part 7, February 07, 2022
Agenda One News, Part 8, October 21, 2022
Agenda One News, Part 9, February 15, 2023.

Monday, September 18, 2023

BWorld 636, Economic basis of net zero is zero

Economic basis of net zero is zero
September 5, 2023 | 12:02 am

My Cup Of Liberty
By Bienvenido S. Oplas, Jr.

We go straight to the numbers. I constructed two tables that accompany this piece. The first shows that in Group A countries that have fast “decarbonization” and are weaning themselves away from coal consumption measured in terajoules (TJ) per person from 2002 to 2022 or over two decades, their overall electricity generation either flatlines or declines. Then their GDP per capita at purchasing power parity (PPP) values over two decades have expanded by two times at most.

Group B countries are Europeans that have high coal consumption plus South Africa. Their coal use per capita has either declined or increased a bit, their overall electricity generation increased (except South Africa) and their per capita GDP has doubled or tripled.

The Group C countries are in Asia. They all have expanded their coal consumption per capita, their electricity generation has doubled or quadrupled (except Pakistan), and their per capita GDP has expanded up to five times (See Table 1).

Next table shows countries that have had huge expansions in wind plus solar from 2007 to 2022 or over 15 years. Then I compare their GDP growth during the 10 years before 2007 and 10 years before 2022. There are many reasons why a country’s economic performance is good or bad, and the quality of power generation (coming from stable and conventional sources vs intermittent sources) and electricity prices are among the important contributors.

Group A countries have had a high jump in solar + wind use and have shown growth deceleration.

Group B countries in Asia showed little expansion in solar + wind use (except Japan and China) and they showed high average GDP growth (See Table 2).

The wild pursuit of “net zero” and decarbonization has no economic basis for developing countries that need to create more jobs, more businesses, and more streetlights. Dark streets at night — which lead to more road accidents, more crimes like stabbing, abduction, and murder — are fatal today, not 50 or 100 years from now.

Meanwhile, here are some recent developments in the Philippines energy sector as reported in BusinessWorld and mostly written by Sheldeen Joy Talavera: “ERC extends suspension of FIT-All collection” (Aug. 22), “FIT-All collection freeze not seen affecting RE developers” (Aug. 27), “EPIRA changes should focus on tax — Congress think tank” (Aug. 28), “Coal-fired capacity for retirement in clean-energy shift seen at 5,000 MW” (Aug. 30), “Energy infra enhancements, streamlined permits seen attracting more investment” (Aug. 31), “Energy dep’t awards 77 offshore wind contracts” (Aug. 31), “ERC grants Meralco-PEDC move to end supply deal” (Sept. 1), and, “Further consultation needed on gas-power quota for Luzon grid” (Sept. 3).

The Department of Energy plan to retire more coal capacity is dangerous and anti-growth. As shown by the numbers in the tables, more coal use leads to more electricity generation and higher GDP per capita income. In contrast, adding more intermittent solar + wind share to the grid means a decline or the flatlining of electricity generation and per capita income.

We should prioritize our national agenda — more sustained growth, more job creation, more electricity for rising demand from households and industry. The global agenda of global ecological central planning should take a backseat.

See also:
BWorld 633, Some trends in de-dollarization and implications for developing countries, Sept. 04, 2023
BWorld 634, BRICS energy and Philippine hosting of FIBA games, Sept. 16, 2023
BWorld 635, Financing Growth: reforms in government procurement, MUP pension, and infrastructure, Sept. 17, 2023.

Mining 66, Reports on proposed new PH mining tax

See these reports in BusinessWorld alone. Enjoy.

Cloud over mining taxes holding back nickel jobs creation, legislator says
December 22, 2020 | 7:25 pm

Push for new mining tax arrangements emerging
April 29, 2021 | 7:50 pm

Key legislator says mining industry fiscal overhaul crucial for recovery
August 1, 2021 | 8:00 pm

New mining fiscal regime approved
August 25, 2022 | 12:34 am

Flexible mining taxes
August 28, 2022 | 5:42 pm
By Ramon L. Clarete

Mining bill expected to raise gov’t revenue but poses risk to FDI growth
August 29, 2022 | 8:18 pm

Mining industry faces ESG, gov’t tax pressures
October 9, 2022 | 7:26 pm

House considering sliding-scale royalty on miners, windfall profit tax of up to 15%
May 16, 2023 | 8:30 pm

Mining industry backs bill imposing margin-based royalty
July 10, 2023 | 12:31 am

Diokno calls for simplified mining taxes to attract FDI
July 24, 2023 | 8:32 pm

House committee sees approval of new mining fiscal regime this week
July 30, 2023 | 7:48 pm

Panel OK’s mining fiscal regime bill
August 3, 2023 | 12:35 am

See also:
Mining 63, Consumer applications of mineral products, February 06, 2022
Mining 64, Mining taxation in PH, July 01, 2023
Mining 65, The Mining Philippines 2023 Conference, September 16, 2023.