April 5, 2023
“As of March 2023, we have 12 sites registered under GEOP with a target additional of seven (7) sites by the fourth quarter of 2023. This provided Globe Telecom, Inc. with at least 10% savings versus the distribution utility’s all-in cost,” said Raymond Aguilar, Vice President for Enterprise Risk and Corporate Property Management of Globe Telecom Inc.
The GEOP is a mechanism that allows end-users with a monthly average peak demand of 100 kilowatts and above the choice to switch from a distribution utility to source 100% of ower directly from a renewable energy supplier. Monica Tagalag from the Independent Electricity Market Operator of the Philippines (IEMOP), which facilitates the registration and switching process of participants, reported that a total of 233 GEOP switchers and 17 RE suppliers are participating in the program.
“With GEOP, the cost of electricity is lower than market rates, yielding operational savings. It encourages higher occupancy rates as the building becomes more attractive to tenants. GEOP also helps businesses achieve net zero by 2030,” said Kristina Samantha Pobre, Sustainability Manager of Arthaland, which developed Arya Residences, an RE-powered condominium in Taguig registered in GEOP.
Renewable energy lowers electricity rates
The baseload power paradigm continues to dominate the energy sector, prioritizing coal power plants to meet the minimum daily power demand of consumers. However, its inflexibility requires support from peaking power plants (mostly diesel) to respond to sudden load demand changes.
Global market price volatility and expensive importation costs of fossil fuels, like coal and diesel, are additional costs shouldered by consumers. Engr. Alberto Dalusung III, Energy Transition Advisor of the Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities (ICSC), said that generation cost is the largest component of our electricity bill, which includes the weighted average costs of electricity sold by suppliers to the distribution utility.
“Find out exactly how much we are paying, and why are we paying so much by understanding who the electricity suppliers of our distribution utility are. As consumers, we have the right to demand the generation cost breakdown from the distribution utility,” said Engr. Dalusung.
Jephraim Manansala, ICSC’s Chief Data Scientist, recommended shifting to a variable generation paradigm sourcing power from renewable energy, such as solar and wind, which incurs zero marginal costs and the cheapest generating cost.
“We want to tap into renewable energy because they are cheaper than fossil fuel and are available endlessly. With lower dependence on fossil fuels, there will be lower carbon emissions and it saves a lot on our electricity expenses,” Atty. Jose Layug, Jr., President of the Developers of Renewable Energy for AdvanceMent, Inc. (DREAM), explained.
A movement building on GEOP
Atty. Layug deemed GEOP as one of the mechanisms vital in pursuing just RE transition in the country and in increasing the share of renewables in the generation mix to 35% by 2030 and 50% by 2040.
“GEOP contributes to the growth of the RE industry in the country and advocates for a cleaner and more sustainable environment. GEOP is also viable in supporting the national and global decarbonization goals,” stated Gina Lyn Camacho-David of Aboitiz Energy Solutions, one of the registered RE suppliers under GEOP.
REalTalk was launched last year as part of The Climate Reality Project Philippines’ RE Energize PH program, which is supported by the Tara Climate Foundation. This year’s workshop focused on raising energy literacy and building a movement on just RE transition with a special focus on GEOP.
Regional workshops, organized in partnership with AktivAsia, are scheduled for the year to train and mobilize REalTalk participants in engaging and influencing more entities to switch to 100% RE through GEOP.