AboitizPower: Influx of RE needs support; transition fuel


To aid the stream of renewable energy (RE) entering into the Philippine energy mix, Aboitiz Power Corporation (AboitizPower) opined that the availability of financial resources and lands is needed on top of expanded power lines and skilled workforce.

“The primary target that we’re really aiming at for 2030 is growing the renewable portfolio and adding 3,700 megawatts of new renewable energy capacity… This requires land, competitive financing, talents who would develop these projects, and, of course, transmission availability,” said AboitizPower President and CEO Emmanuel Rubio.

To support the green initiative of the country, the energy firm looks to build 3,700 megawatts (MW) of new RE capacity, which should advance to 4,600 MW by 2030 and would include geothermal, battery energy storage systems, solar, hydro, and wind.

“What’s driving the impetus to build renewable energy projects is because we have to. Climate change is real and we need to transition to cleaner fuels…[But] variable renewable energy is not the only solution. It has to be balanced with a balancing power plant like a gas plant,” Rubio added.

Earlier, Therma NatGas Power, a subsidiary of AboitizPower, with Meralco PowerGen Corporation, signed an agreement to procure a 40% stake in Chromite Gas Holdings.  This power move was to secure the firm’s position in the liquefied natural gas (LNG) space.

Chromite Gas had been aiming to secure an interest in two gas-fired power plants to supply a combined capacity of 2,500 MW. This is on top of an LNG import and regasification terminal. 

“Projects like this need economies of scale. The country can only afford one terminal to be competitive. Not everyone can put their terminal and build an LNG facility,” Rubio said.

Gas-to-power generation is seen as a more likely match to renewables because LNG-power turbines could cycle more quickly, meeting the inherent intermittencies of RE sources like solar and wind. 

This meant that grid stability would be attainable, especially during the rush of more RE sources into the grid.

As estimated in the Clean Energy Scenario of the Philippine Energy Plan, 50% of gross generation would come from RE sources while 26% would be from LNG by 2040.