REalTalk reveals more cases of power savings from renewables, strengthens movement on just energy transition

Quezon City— Harnessing power from renewable energy (RE) through the Green Energy Option Program (GEOP) reduces at least 10% of electricity costs and advances the sustainability goals of businesses, according to entities like Globe Telecom, Inc. and Arthaland during the virtual sessions of “REalTalk: A Movement Building Workshop on Renewable Energy” held in March. 


“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.


Gina David-Camacho (upper left) of Aboitiz, Monica Tagalag (upper right) of IEMOP, Kristina Samantha Pobre (lower right) of Arthaland, and Raymond Aguilar (lower right) of Globe Telecom, Inc. talked about the gains and opportunities of GEOP to business entities.

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. 

Jephraim Manansala (lower left) and Engr. Albert Dalusung III (lower right) of the Institute of Climate and Sustainable Cities pushed for the discontinuation of the automatic fuel pass-through or the pasaload system because it allows power generation entities to pass the burden of fossil fuel price volatility to consumers.

“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.  

Towards just renewable energy transition
As energy and transport account for 72% of the total Philippine carbon emissions, Jonas Marie Dumdum, Co-Founder of Sustainarumble!, strengthened the case of RE transition as an urgent and effective climate action for the country and the world.
“The switch to renewable energy sources is deemed vital to reduce temperature change below 1.5C degrees. Renewable energy is a cleaner energy source that has very little to no emissions generated when being used,” Dumdum noted.
Philline Donggay, the Co-Founder of Greenergy Solar PH, also acknowledged the potential of RE to accelerate the electrification of poor communities in Mindanao. Greenergy Solar PH has been active in the promotion and development of RE power generation in the Mindanao region since 2008. 
“Access to modern energy services should be considered a basic human right when many sustainable development goals are anchored on it. With advances in solar PV technology and energy storage, energy poverty now has a real and practical solution that has co-benefits in climate resiliency and energy independence,” Donggay added. 
Atty. Jose Layug, Jr. of Dream (upper left), Philline Donggay of Greenergy Solar PH (upper right), and Jonas Marie Dumdum (lower middle) emphasized how just renewable energy transition is vital in addressing the climate crisis and in empowering communities.

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.