October 21, 2022
RE100, a global corporate renewable energy target-setting initiative, has over 380 global business members that together have an annual demand of 385 terawatt-hours of renewable energy. This figure is over five times the annual electricity consumption of the Philippines. Notable global companies with climate or clean energy targets operating in the Philippines include Coca-Cola, Accenture, Holcim, Toyota, Nestle, and Unilever, among others.
In addition, many more domestic companies want to enjoy the benefits of shifting to renewable energy and can play a crucial role in amplifying demand for more renewable energy in the energy mix. These companies have a new opportunity to purchase 100 percent renewable energy for their power needs through the recently implemented Green Energy Option Program (GEOP). This is a major step forward in support of the Philippines energy transition, but there is an urgent need to increase awareness and address prevailing barriers that currently impede widespread participation in the GEOP.
The GEOP allows energy consumers to source 100 percent of their electricity supply directly from renewable energy sources and is available to electricity end-users with an average peak demand of at least 100 kilowatts. The program allows consumers to potentially enjoy electricity cost savings, while unlocking brand reputation benefits. A new White Paper prepared by the Clean Energy Investment Accelerator or CEIA, an international initiative, shows that one payment scheme under the GEOP offers a fixed discount from the monthly rate offered by the local distribution utilities, with the discounted rates potentially reaching 5 to 12 percent lower than the prevailing generation rate.
Climate Reality Philippines Branch Manager Nazrin Castro said: “GEOP is a vital program in our country’s energy transition because it empowers consumers to switch from being part of the captive market, which is mostly fossil fuel-based, to running on 100% renewable energy. We are determined to support the program’s implementation by sharing stories of the early GEOP switchers, communicating its benefits, and engaging more entities to make the switch—with the view of increasing our country’s capacity, players, and markets on renewable energy.”
“In accelerating the shift towards a clean energy future, we believe the GEOP can be the game changer, enabling everyone to participate in the clean energy transition. Shifting to renewables is our country’s least expensive path to achieve energy independence while fighting climate change. Filipinos deserve to have affordable, sustainable, and renewable energy sources. We aim to push and work alongside decision-makers and key partners to monitor and bring improvements in implementing the GEOP and other renewable energy support mechanisms, along with intensified energy efficiency measures and increased grid flexibility,” said WWF-Philippines Climate and Energy Programme Head, Atty. Angela Ibay.
While market stakeholders initially expressed excitement for GEOP, the White Paper also underscores the slow uptake among energy consumers within the first 8 months of the GEOP’s implementation, with only less than 160 end-users currently enrolled in the program. It is estimated that this only translates to less than 40 megawatts of renewable energy demand, or less than 1 percent of the Philippines’ total electricity demand. Factors contributing to the lack of participation include limited awareness among potential buyers and inability for businesses who lease their facilities to engage directly with retail electricity suppliers. Improvements to the design of the GEOP and clarification on ownership of the accompanying Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) are needed to unlock the full potential of the program.
Marlon Apanada, CEIA Philippines Lead, shared that “improving the GEOP will not only be advantageous for the Philippines’ energy transition, but will also support global companies to purchase more renewable energy and invest in renewable energy plants. Policymakers should urgently address barriers to increase participation in the GEOP, which is a pathway not only for 100 percent renewable energy, but also for cheaper electricity costs, scaled investments in much-needed energy capacity, and timely realization of energy independence and climate goals.”
For additional information about the GEOP White Paper or the CEIA, please visit cleanenergyinvest.org/resources or contact Marlon Apanada at firstname.lastname@example.org and Ivan Limjuco at email@example.com.