‘New normal’ sees renewable energy as key player in energy security


As the country prepares its post-COVID infrastructure, renewable energy is seen to play a key role in improving energy stability .

Yuchengco-led PetroEnergy Resources Corp. (PERC) expects demand for reliable and efficient electricity supply to increase as businesses shift to digital solutions to adapt to the  “new normal,” in which renewable energy can help provide seamless transition. 

“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.

According to a Philstar report, 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.

The RE Act of 2008 allows for RE power plants to remain operational as they are considered “must dispatch.” This helped stabilize power supply amid the shutting down of many coal power plants which underwent repairs, fuel supply disruptions, and variable output from other RE facilities during 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.

Morala added that the COVID-19 pandemic emphasized the importance of renewable energy and how it fits well in a post-pandemic scenario.

“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 began operations on its fifth RE power facility, the 20 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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