By Lenie Lectura – July 2, 2017
from Business Mirror
THE Visayan Electric Co. (Veco), the second-largest electricity-distribution utility, continues to push for renewable energy (RE) in order to maintain a balanced mix of power-generation sources.
No doubt the initial investment into RE is high at present, Veco COO Anton Perdices said. However, “in the long term, RE is cheaper than fossil-based technologies”, he added.
More than 50 percent of Veco’s power supply comes from RE.
Veco, a joint venture of Aboitiz Power Corp. and Vivant Corp., distributes electricity to Metro Cebu towns and cities.
Perdices said RE sources lessen the country’s dependence on imported fossil fuels and help mitigate the effects of climate change.
He also added RE has its disadvantages, citing some types of RE are location-specific, like geothermal and hydro. Solar and wind-power farmscannot provide baseload power due to reliability issues.
He said to provide reliable and competitively priced power, Veco has to maintain a balanced mix of generation sources.
“A balanced mix of renewable- and thermal- energy sources can address the different levels and patterns of power demand in the most efficient and cost-effective way,” he added.
Veco’s peak demand in 2016 stood at 524 megawatts (MW), of which 50.47 percent came from mostly geothermal sources in the Visayas.
In 2015 32 percent of the Philippines’s power supply came from RE. Around 20 percent of the global supply for power comes from RE.
Together with its partners, Aboitiz Power has a net sellable capacity of 3,954 MW, of which 32 percent or 1,263 MW comes from RE.
The RE capacity will grow further with the completion of the 69-MW run-of-river Manolo Fortich hydropower project in Bukidnon, the 8-MW Maris Canal hydro project in Isabela, and the 8.8-MW biomass facilty in Lian, Batangas, through subsidiary Aseagas.