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Tuesday, February 27, 2024

Power firms laud President’s support for renewables

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Power industry players on Tuesday lauded the Marcos administration for addressing the country’s growing energy needs through renewable energy and removal of transmission and other regulatory bottlenecks.

“We look forward to more positive developments on the energy sector as this administration recognizes the need for continuous investments in order to achieve energy security and reliability,”  Philippine Independent Power Producers Association Inc. president and executive director  Anne Estorco Montelibano said.

President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. said during the State of the Nation Address Monday his administration switched on 17 power plants since last year, increasing  energy production by 1,174 megawatts.

“Unlike the previous government which refused to acknowledge the need for additional power, PBBM immediately addressed the current situation by relentlessly pursuing new power plants and total electrification of all Filipinos, rich and poor,”  Developers of Renewable Energy for AdvanceMent Inc. president Jay Layug said.

Layug,  co-chairman of the Energy Committee of the European Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines, also recognized the rigorous efforts of the Marcos administration, led by Energy Secretary Raphael Lotilla and Energy Regulatory Commission chairperson Monalisa Dimalant to address the all-encompassing requirement for sustainable, reliable and optimally priced electricity supply from clean energy resources.

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“We especially appreciate PBBM for his aggressively promoting renewable energy, not only through lip service but through various new regulations from the DOE, ERC and DOJ [Department of Justice] and even executive orders from the President himself,” he said.

“We also laud the integrated approach adopted by the BBM administration – one that centers not only on power generation but also on distribution, transmission and supply. We hope that with the whole-of-government approach, the Philippine economy will prosper with sustainable and affordable electricity supply,” Layug said.

ACEN Corp. president and chief executive Eric Francia cited the President’s SONA statement that renewable energy is the way forward, and policies are geared towards its aggressive expansion.

“We expect private sector investments in renewables to accelerate in the coming years, on the back of strong policies and resolve to strengthen the transmission network. For our part, ACEN will be overweighting efforts in the Philippines and accelerate its renewables expansion in the country,” Francia said.

Power retailer Manila Electric Co. also expressed support to Marcos’ SONA report, especially on full electrification.

“We continue to support government in its quest to fully energize the country and Meralco at least in its franchise area has been able to achieve that. Aside from providing electricty at the last mile level, our aim has been and still is to achieve energy security at the least cost possible through sound sourcing strategy and to invest heavily in improving our distribution networks backbone. By doing so our customers are assured of round the clock service at competitive and reasonable costs,” Meralco spokesperson Joe Zaldarriaga said.

Citicore Renewable Energy Corp. president Oliver Tan expressed support to the government’s thrust in renewable energy.

“We will continue to mobilize capital to build more solar and wind farms, and in the process, provide more jobs and bring down cost of electricity. We encourage the President to further promote foreign investments in building up the supply chain locally to support the number of RE projects in the pipeline,” Tan said.

He said the delayed 60 grid connection projects is a concern and expressed hope all stakeholders would work together to find ways to address root cause of the problems.

“Lastly, we believe the administration thru the leadership of the DOE Secretary, has been doing a good job so far in ensuring adequate “investor friendly” policies and frameworks to encourage more private capital investments in the renewable energy,” Tan said.

Philippine Solar and Storage Energy Alliance chairperson Tetchi Capellan  said the President had already identified transmission constraints as the biggest stumbling block to RE & energy security.

“Removing this bottleneck and resolving the interconnection issues require strict governance as the President already identified [through performance audit]. But above all, it demands huge investments on building the infrastructure. Waiting is not an option for a country growing at 7 percent with an aspiration of 50% RE in its energy mix. We have to build the lines and substations,” Capellan  said.

Aboitiz Power Corp. said energy remains vital to the economy’s growth.

“It is also timely that the President acknowledged the delayed transmission projects, as these can challenge energy security and deter the influx of more power plants, both thermal and RE. Getting these back on track will help bridge the gap between generation and the consumers, and free stranded capacities for the benefit of cities and provinces with insufficient electricity,” it said.

Meanwhile, the Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities called for clarity and urgency in the implementation of the government’s development plans, while affirming the need for the country’s climate action to be better incorporated in its economic agenda.

“Pursuing economic development by integrating climate science and evidence-based methods, upgrading systems, and prioritizing the basic needs of Filipinos are laudably mentioned in the President’s second SONA; prioritizing climate action and accelerating the energy transition is investing in better development. However, we are eager to see more concrete solutions on the table as climate change continues to jeopardize lives and livelihoods, and whose impacts are bound to worsen according to the latest science,” ICSC executive director Angelo Kairos dela Cruz said.

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