December 9, 2022 | The Manila Times
Renewable energy can be transformative. A robust and sustainable energy system can be among the ways to mitigate the impact of climate change, contribute to energy security, and support efforts for energy accessibility. It also provides opportunities for investments and economic growth, which are vital to a country's continued progress.
NEIGHBOR OF CHOICE. AboitizPower’s dedication to people, particularly the communities it serves, is among the key drivers of its corporate sustainability practices. This photo shows AboitizPower team members engaging with members of an IP group in Mindanao.
The movement towards developing more renewable energy sources has grown in recent years, pushed by governments and private corporations worldwide. This transition to a cleaner and brighter world is apparent in the Philippines, with many energy companies already championing this shift.
One of these champions is Aboitiz Power Corporation (AboitizPower), the energy subsidiary of the Aboitiz Group. AboitizPower is one of the pioneers of renewable energy in the Philippines.
The company had its first clean energy facilities operated by the Philippines' largest run-of-river hydro firm Hedcor in the 1970s. Today, AboitizPower, together with its partners, is the country's largest renewable energy provider in terms of installed capacity. With about one megawatt in every five megawatts generated in the country from AboitizPower, the company is ready to support the country's transition to a more sustainable energy future.
CHANNELING OUR ENVIRONMENTAL RESPONSIBILITY. The A-Park tree planting program is part of the Aboitiz Group’s carbon management program that commits to plant 9 million trees by 2020 to revitalize remaining unproductive, and degraded forestlands in the country through reforestation initiatives.
POWERING PROGRESS ACROSS GENERATIONS. Teacher Nenita Riveral and her pre-school students can learn and play comfortably in the new daycare center donated by AboitizPower subsidiary Cebu Private Power Corporation (CPPC) and the Aboitiz Foundation.
Guided by its grand-scale purpose of Transforming Energy for a Better World, AboitizPower eyes building at least 3,700 megawatts (MW) of renewable energy domestically and internationally within this decade. Through this strategy, the organization will increase its clean energy portfolio to 4,600 MW by 2030, doubling its total net attributable capacity to 9,200 MW.
"AboitizPower will use its diverse fleet of assets to help power the nation as it transitions toward a cleaner energy system," said AboitizPower president and CEO Manny Rubio.
AboitizPower's goal is aligned with the Department of Energy (DOE) mandate for on-grid power suppliers to increase the renewable energy share in their outputs to 2.53% from 1% starting in 2023.
To meet the company's renewable energy goals, AboitizPower is expanding its Cleanergy assets by forging partnerships with several players in the industry.
Together with Mainstream Renewable Power, it is building a 90 MW onshore wind facility in Camarines Sur. It has also inked a partnership with Clime Capital Management and Rocky Mountain Institute to conduct a feasibility study on developing up to 3000 MW of offshore wind energy.
AboitizPower is also joining forces with International Finance Corporation to assess the viability of renewable energy and energy storage as a source of baseload power in the country. In addition, its collaboration with Japan's Energy for a New Era explores the possibility of hydrogen and ammonia as renewable energy sources.
These are all part of AboitizPower's 10-year strategy in support of the global movement for cleaner energy and is being made to ensure that energy security is still achieved within the country.
The transition to a cleaner energy future also involves the convergence of many things such as the choices that consumers make, supportive government policies, and the participation of industry players. AboitizPower is continuing to build their RE portfolio as they anticipate more people to transition to a much cleaner source of energy.
Just recently, AboitizPower made its move in deepening their relationships with old and new partners after they secured long-term deals with SM Prime Holdings, Inc., which will supply electricity sourced from renewable energy to power SM Prime properties, including malls, leisure homes, offices, hotels and convention centers.
AboitizPower has also been selected by one of the country's top BPO firms Teleperformance Philippines, sugar producer Victoria Milling Company, and car builder NKC Manufacturing Corporation to provide renewable energy in their offices and factories.
The company hopes that the growth from these partnerships will not just be an expansion to their other businesses, but also from other like-minded businesses who are looking to switch to renewable energy as a way to act on their commitment to the environment. As opportunities grow in this sector, AboitizPower is well-poised to take them on.
While AboitizPower admits that the energy transition in the Philippines is far more complex and complicated than simply turning off all thermal assets and turning on 100% renewable energy capacities, the company recognizes the progress it has been making "towards a more decarbonized and more RE-powered society."
"We believe in taking a well-calculated and long-term approach toward decarbonization. A decarbonized Philippines requires a well-managed shift," Rubio shared in a recent podcast with Power Philippines.
As it embarks on helping achieve a more sustainable energy future for the country, AboitizPower provides support to local communities as part of its journey. Among its recent activity was the turnover of around P10 million worth of community shares to the local government unit and host communities in Bukidnon, by Hedcor Group, the company's subsidiary generating renewable energy from run-of-river hydropower systems.
The Bukidnon provincial government has pledged to use the funds to implement relevant projects to benefit the local community.
Partnering with AboitizPower subsidiary Cebu Private Power Corporation (CPPC), Aboitiz Foundation and CPPC recently donated the new daycare center to Ermita village in Cebu City, as part of the company's continued support to its community.
The construction of the new daycare center began last August and ended in the second week of September. The facility features two classrooms, which can hold 15 students each. The daycare center is equipped with an air conditioner, making it more conducive to learning.
To date, there are currently 60 students enrolled in the Cebu Daycare center, mostly from sitios of Warwick Barracks and Kawit, two of five sitios in the barangay.
In line with the UN's SDG 04, the company believes in the importance of quality education among the youth and has long been at the forefront of promoting its development in Ermita.
Driven by their passion towards a better world, AboitizPower has also shown its full support in biodiversity and environmental conservation in the country.
One of the most notable greening initiatives of the organization is the development of the A-Park program. Launched in 2010, A-Park program initially aimed to plant three million trees by 2015, but the target was raised to nine million trees by 2020, as the group readily surpassed its initial goal.
To date, AboitizPower has already planted 11.7 million seedlings across the country under the said program.
Along with the A-Park program, AboitizPower has actively pushed for the establishment of the Carbon Sink Management Program (CSMP). The CSMP was launched in 2015 in support of the company's bid to offset the carbon emissions and help combat climate change.
Therma South and Therma Visayas have committed to planting one million trees in Cebu and Davao, respectively, to act as a carbon sink. The company has forged strategic partnerships with indigenous communities and farmers to help support the program.
As of September 2021, AboitizPower, together with its partners in the community, have planted a total of 1,303,399 seedlings under the Carbon Sink Management Program (CSMP).
"Transforming Energy for a Better World sounds really grand, but we are taking this to heart because it will mean a safer and better life for all of us," added Rubio. "We are resolute because the stakes are high—the future generations of Filipinos who will thrive in a healthy environment depend on it."