July 11, 2011
Max V. De Leon
The European Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines (ECCP) is leading the private sector in a renewed campaign to conserve energy asserting that a mere 20 percent savings in the country's annual power consumption of 8 gigawatts (GW) will fill the gap in meeting foreseen shortages, even if the country forgo with the construction of new power plants.
Hubert d'Aboville, ECCP president, said energy conservation is the country's solution to the reluctance of investors to establish new power plants particularly in the field of renewable energy (RE) with the delay in the issuance of the guidelines for the feed-in tariffs (FIT).
"Given the poor prospect of major investments in the power sector, ECCP thought it was wise to manage the demand side by embarking on an efficiency campaign," he said.
He said a 10-percent to 20-percent reduction in power consumption through various energy-saving schemes that will be employed by households and corporations is doable if the public would be made aware of the problem and mindful of the need to be energy-efficient.
D'Aboville said a 10-percent savings in the 8-GW annual national consumption translates to an additional 800 (MW) of power supply without constructing new power plants.
European Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines president Hubert d'Aboville (center) thresh out the details of a renewed-energy-saving drive in the private sector with Ed Chua (left), chairman of Pilipinas Shell and Jesse Ang, resident representative of the International Finance Corp., at a press conference on the upcoming Second Philippine Energy Efficiency Forum 2011 that will be held on July 19, at the SMX Convention Center. ~ Nonie Reyes
The 800-MW savings, he said, is equivalent to three new power plants. It will also be enough to resolve power shortage in the Visayas and Mindanao, he pointed out.
Jesse Ang, resident representative of the International Finance Corp. (IFC), said a prolonged delay in the issuance of the FIT guidelines could totally drive away investors interested in participating in RE projects.
He said a similar instance transpired when the Epira (Electric Power Industry Reform Act of 2001) took five years to be "operationalized."
"They don't need three years to do it [FIT rules]. At the end of the day, the investors will look at the law," Ang said.
Realizing the reluctance of the private sector to invest in new power facilities, the ECCP and IFC have teamed up with some corporations in staging the Second Philippine Energy Efficiency Forum (PEEF) 2011 on July 19 at the SMX Convention Center.
"For the second PEEF, we decided to focus on bringing together stakeholders that are implementing energy efficiency programs, thus the theme 'Synergizing Partnerships for an Energy Efficient and Competitive Philippines.' We will see more initiatives and commitments from both the public and private sectors both local and international," he said.
Source: Business Mirror; The Economy; 06 July 2011