Aboitiz Power Corp. said over the weekend that tapping all available sources of power, whether traditional or renewable, and sufficient transmission facilities will address lingering concerns in power stability and reliability.
Company president Emmanuel Rubio said the significance of conventional energy sources ensures a consistent electricity supply in both the short and long term vis-a-vis supporting the growth ambitions of the country.
He also said thermal plants still have a crucial role in providing a reliable and stable source of electricity.
The power firm is targeting a 50:50 balance between its renewable and thermal capacities by 2030. In its website, AboitizPower said it has 20 thermal facilities.
Rubio also said there should be sufficient transmission networks to support the influx of new generation capacity, specifically variable renewable energy. This ensures that when it comes online, it can immediately contribute much-needed supply to the grid.
“Finishing long-overdue transmission projects will also be very welcome as it can free stranded capacity like that in Mindanao and help support thin margins elsewhere in the country.”
Other challenges that need to be addressed include global supply chain uncertainties, anticipated effects of El Niño, and the 6.6-percent increase in electricity consumption this year, which will require 600 to 700 megawatts (MW) of additional power.
While several power generating plants have been put up in the last several years and renewable energy projects are in the pipeline, Rubio said there is a need to shore up the Philippines’s base load capacity that will ensure stable, reliable, and affordable power supply round-the-clock.
On the need to address climate change, AboitizPower Thermal Business Group President Celso C. Caballero III underscored the need for a “pragmatic strategy” that considers the context of developing nations like the Philippines.
“COP [Conference of the Parties] 27 calls for a curb on emissions by ‘phasing down’ coal and using low-emission fuels. This more pragmatic strategy from the original ‘phase out’ solution is increasingly cognizant of the needs of developing countries,” he said in his welcome remarks before the Philippine Coal Plant Users’ Group (PCPUG) technical conference last year.
The COP 28, held in Dubai late last year, echoed the “phase down” approach with an agreement that signals the “beginning of the end” of the fossil fuel era by laying the ground for a swift, just, and equitable transition.
In a recent address made before the Enlit Asia annual power generation conference in Kuala Lumpur, Caballero said AboitizPower advocates for an energy transition that takes into account the financial and industrial aspects of developing nations.
“It should be a transition that prioritizes justice and equity, both on global scale and within individual countries,” he said, adding that it must take into consideration the ability of developing countries to power and aid their socio-economic development.
He noted that the Philippines, like most countries, is feeling the heat of the energy situation as power supply is disturbed and fuel prices remain volatile.
“We wrestle to find the right balance in the energy trilemma—energy security, equity and sustainability,” said Caballero, while stressing the need to always go back to this three-point scale in mapping the role of coal in the energy transition.
Achieving a just and equitable energy transition is not only a moral imperative but also vital for the success and sustainability of global decarbonization efforts, he said.
“It’s essential to ensure that no one is left behind in the pursuit of a cleaner, more sustainable energy future that benefits both current and future generations.”