In two years time, Talakag could be responsible for lower electricity prices in the region. Oh really?
This is because “the Northern Mindanao Electric Cooperatives (Normeca) is looking at the construction of a 132 megawatt Bulanog-Batang Hydroelectric Power Plant in Talakag, Bukidnon to sustain stable power supply in the region”. SunStar CDO News
Well let's look at the pros and cons:
A hydroelectric power station is clean and does not release greenhouse gases like coal or gas burning power stations. It’s also reliable and it’s easy to generate electricity. The construction project will provide employment opportunities for Talakag residents. Once the dam is built, it produces electricity cheaply.
“Once this project is realised, it would result to low electricity prices because it is stipulated in the law that we don't have to pay VAT for renewable energy”. SunStar CDO News
However, building a big dam is very expensive and can cause lots of disruption to the environment. Some local families may be displaced. The project could also have huge maintenance costs during operation.
On the one hand, there are concerns for potential flooding while on the other, “the Oro Rafters Association feared that the project’s dam operation might result in the reduction of the volume of water flowing into the Cagayan de Oro River that might adversely affect the operation of their popularly and world-class adventure activities as river rafting, kayaking, tubing, among others”. CDOkay News
Does the end justify the means? This will depend not only on the management of the project itself but also the subsequent operations of the hydroelectric power plant after its completion and its maintenance long after the construction team have gone. So watch this space!