THE ENERGY SECTOR will play a big role in implementing the proposed energy efficiency and conservation law as about half of the thousands of megawatts that can be displaced with the adoption of the legislation will come from power facilities, an official of an industry organization said.
Alexander Ablaza, president of the Philippine Energy Efficiency Alliance, Inc. (PE2), said 45,900 megawatts (MW) are waiting to gathered through energy efficiency initiatives, of which about 23,000 MW are currently accounted for by power facilities.
“We have under our noses 45,900 MW to be harvested from anyone and anything that is using energy today,” he told reporters on Thursday.
Mr. Ablaza made the statement during the press briefing to introduce Water Philippines, a conference scheduled in March that, for the first time, includes renewable energy, and energy efficiency and conservation stakeholders.
The figure is only the minimum capacity that can be gathered through the law that is awaiting the President’s signature, he added.
“Roughly half of that is in the power sector,” he said. “We’re saying that potentially 23,000 MW of the 43,000 MW in the Philippine Energy Plan of new installed generating capacity can be deferred between now and 2040.”
Mr. Ablaza was referring to the 43,765 MW in required additional capacity that the Department of Energy (DoE) projected by 2040 using in its simulation an average annual economic growth rate of 5.7% and an assumed power reserve margin of 25% above the peak demand.
Based on the DoE’s forecast, about 25,265 MW of the required power capacity would come from baseload power plants, most of which are coal-fired facilities that operate continuously.
“This is universal across the globe, investing in energy efficiency is cheaper than the cheapest coal [power plant] on a per installed megawatt basis and, right now at parity, even cheaper than solar,” Mr. Ablaza said.
Earlier this month, the Bicameral Conference Committee convened to reconcile the disagreeing positions of Senate Bill 1531 and House Bill 8629. They then approved the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Act.
“PE2 positions civil society and private sector as partner of government for the long haul,” Mr. Ablaza said about his group’s role.
PE2 is non-stock, nonprofit organization of energy efficiency market stakeholders.
“We work with government to make sure that we do not repeat the mistakes of the last 28 years… (and) mainstream energy efficiency now as a resource in our energy mix,” he said.
Mr. Ablaza said that he hopes that when the Water Philippines conference takes place on March 20-22, the law will have passed.
The business-to-business conference will present the best water technologies and solutions for water supply, sanitation, industrial wastewater and purification. It includes renewable energy and energy efficiency sectors to bring together more than 500 exhibiting companies.
The event will showcase nine international and regional pavilions from China, European Union, South Korea, Malaysia, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, The Netherlands and the United States. — Victor V. Saulon