Napocor off-grid areas fully under RE by 2030

Richmond Mercurio - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines —  State-owned National Power Corp. (Napocor) is accelerating its plan to shift to  the operations of off-grid areas in the country to clean energy.

Napocor president and CEO Fernando Martin Roxas said the target is to convert all Small Power Utilities Group (SPUG) areas to 100 percent renewable energy operations  before 2030.

“Hopefully, the first 25 percent would start next year and then work on the rest of the 75 percent after that,” Roxas said.

“Maybe (it will take) two years to reach the full 25 percent and another four years to reach close to a 100 percent,” he said.

Roxas said Napocor intends to tap different kinds of renewable energy technologies, starting with solar.

“We will start with the easiest which is solar and then work our way to other technologies,” he said.

At present, Roxas said only two percentof SPUG operations are powered by renewable energy.

The country’s off-grid islands are currently powered mostly by diesel plants through the Napocor SPUG.

Napocor has been working on its long term sustainability plan to mitigate the impact of high fuel prices on its operations.

Part of the plan is the accelerated hybridization of SPUG power plants with renewable energy resources.

Roxas earlier said that his ultimate goal is to convert all SPUG areas to 100 percent renewable energy operations.

Last March, Napocor announced that it will cease from acquiring diesel generating sets in line with its push for sustainability through renewable energy.

The decision came following the directive of Energy Secretary Raphael Lotilla to stop procuring new diesel gensets so as to lessen the corporation’s dependence on fossil fuels.

The move will also accelerate Napocor’s bid to fasttrack its renewable energy program in its SPUG power plants and gradually minimize the use of diesel gensets.

“This will minimize the losses incurred from rising fuel costs and will eventually make our operations more sustainable,” Roxas said.

Last year, Napocor awarded contracts for the installation of around 2,600 units of solar home systems in Maconacon and Divilacan in Isabela, and in various areas in Masbate, Bohol, Dinagat, Sulu and Basilan.

By pushing for sustainability through renewable energy, Napocor said it can also lower its generation cost over time and minimize its carbon emission.

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