Renewable energy to play big role in power stability

Danessa Rivera (The Philippine Star) - June 14, 2020 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Renewable energy will play a key role in improving the country’s power stability as Yuchengco-led PetroEnergy Resources Corp. (PERC) has produced steady power generation from its renewable portfolio during the lockdown.

PERC expects demand for reliable and efficient electricity supply to increase as businesses shift to digital and technological processes for contactless transactions heading toward the “new normal.”

“Post-COVID, we anticipate that businesses will start their recovery activities and the public will continue to adjust to the new normal, and having a more resilient power supply can make this happen faster and easier. This is why we ensured that our RE facilities continue to operate despite the health crisis,”said Dave Gadiano, head of energy trading and marketing of PERC subsidiary PetroGreen Energy Corp.

PERC and PGEC’s power plants remained operational since the community quarantine in March, generating a total of 26.81 gigawatt-hours of power from March 16 to May 31.

Despite the 30 percent drop in energy demand due to decreased economic activities, RE facilities continued to export power to the grid.

This is because under the RE Act of 2008, RE power plants are considered “must dispatch,” which helped stabilize power supply even if most RE facilities have variable output and many huge coal power plants were on shutdown due to repairs and fuel supply disruptions during the quarantine.

Most RE facilities have simpler operations, allowing work efficiency and resilience despite the lockdowns as they are reliant on indigenous fuel, PGEC assistant vice president Paul Elmer Morala said.

“Compared to fossil-fueled power plants, which are reliant on imported coal or petroleum, RE power plants utilize indigenous resources and its operation is generally less dependent on global supply chain, which has been severely disrupted by COVID-19,” he said.

Moving forward, Morala said RE projects have more potential to grow beyond this health crisis.

“There is a growing global consensus that renewable energy is the way to a sustainable power sector. The COVID-19 pandemic has undoubtedly emphasized the benefits of having a significant RE share in the country’s supply mix. Among other sources, RE is in a better position to adapt to the new normal or post-pandemic scenario because of its resiliency, indigenous nature and emissions-free characteristics vital in a healthy and clean environment,” he said.

RE now accounts for 85 percent of PERC’s business and revenue.

In 2019, the company successfully put online its newest and fifth RE power facility, the 20-megawatt (MW) Tarlac-2 solar power plant.

This is in addition to the company’s 20-MW Maibarara-1 and 12-MW Maibarara-2 geothermal power plants in Batangas, the 36-MW Nabas wind power plant in Aklan, and the 50-MW Tarlac-1 solar power plant in Tarlac.

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