GE sees PHL saving P10 billion in power cost in 25 years

By  Lenie Lectura – June 12, 2017 

from Business Mirror

OFFICIALS of American giant GE said last week the Philippines could potentially achieve $10 billion (P495.45 billion) in savings over a 25-year power-plant life cycle and an estimated 16 million tons in carbon-dioxide reduction annually if it maximizes the efficiency of existing and new power-generation assets.

Emmanuel de Dios, GE Philippines CEO, said adopting the latest technologies will be critical in transforming the future of the country’s energy landscape.

“The Philippines is currently at a crossroads in its energy-sector development. If we enhance our energy assets and networks by deploying the most efficient gas turbines, ultra-super critical coal technology, as well as upgrading existing plants and transmission and distribution networks, the country can achieve energy efficiency, reliability and sustainability,” de Dios said.

The future of the Philippines’s energy sector—including these savings opportunities—were part of the discussions held at this week’s “Powering the Philippines” conference, held in Manila to discuss future challenges and opportunities for the national energy ecosystem.

“The GE Energy Ecosystem is an interconnected system of digital and industrial technologies engineered to deliver affordable, reliable and more sustainable production, distribution and consumption of energy,” GE Asean President and CEO Wouter Van Wersch said. “We believe many of our solutions will attract strong interest here because the Philippines is one of the most energy-hungry nations in the world and open to new ideas to produce more affordable, reliable and sustainable power.”

GE’s latest technologies are part of the company’s “Energy Ecosystem” portfolio unveiled at the conference. The portfolio is designed in part to support the massive electricity-growth needs of the Asean region. In the Philippines alone, peak demand is expected to increase from 10.9 gigawatts (GW) in 2012 to 15 GW by 2020, 18.6 GW by 2025 and 23.2 GW by 2030.

Based on GE’s research, carbon emissions from existing coal and gas power plants can be cut by as much as 10 percent with digital upgrades. This is particularly relevant to the Philippines, which relies on coal for 42 percent of its electricity needs.

“As the Philippines continues to invest in renewables, it is important to review existing power sources, like coal, which are abundant and low-cost. Ultra-supercritical steam power technologies and digital applications are available to help lower carbon emissions, and make coal and gas plants more efficient,” de Dios said.

These digital upgrades include the use of advanced software and analytics, sensors and cloud storage technologies to better analyze “big data” produced by power plants. Digital power plants enhance asset performance, operations and improve energy-trading decisions to create additional revenue and cost-reduction opportunities.

Powering the Philippines conference included keynote speeches and panel discussions on energy policy and infrastructure, led by representatives from important industry agencies including the Department of Energy (DOE), National Renewable Energy Board (NREB), Senate Committee on Energy, Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC), National Transmission Corp. (Transco), the National Grid Corp. of the Philippines (NGCP) and members of the Philippine Independent Power Producers Association (PIPPA).

Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi spoke about the country’s near-term plans during his keynote address. The Philippine Energy Plan (PEP) aims to provide Filipinos with reliable and affordable energy services. The energy sector is vital in promoting a better quality of life for everyone. “We understand that meeting our goals of energy independence and market reforms requires support, input, and expertise from our stakeholders. The discussions today offer a great way to look at the challenges and opportunities that lay ahead,” he said.