By Myrna M. Velasco
As much as P2.25 billion worth of savings will be generated if state-run National Power Corporation (NPC) opts for the hybrid technology solution being dangled by the European Union (EU) to off-grid areas, according to the Department of Energy.
This is part of the major findings of a study undertaken by the EU-funded Access to Sustainable Energy Program (EU-ASEP), which has also been piloting hybridization solution in a number of key islands in the Philippines.
“Hybridization, in combination with properly maintained generator-sets (gensets) will enable NPC to save around P2.25 billion annually,” the energy department has noted in a statement to the media.
Via the ASEP undertaking, the EU has allocated a grant of more than P3.0 billion, primarily “to assist the Philippine government in meeting the rural electrification targets through renewable energy and energy efficiency.”
Dr. Christoph Menke, the strategic advisor of the EU-ASEP, indicated their study “shows that there will be an estimated P1.00/kWh cost reduction if NPC adopts a solar hybridization of its large-scale power plants.”
And in the mini-grid areas served by the state-run power firm, the optimal utilization of diesel gensets could yield savings of as much as P2.25 billion, or an equivalent of P4.50 per kWh.
Menke opined that the cost reduction “will help bring down the electricity bills of consumers.”
He explained that a hybrid mini-grid “combines at least two different kinds of technologies for power generation and distributes the electricity to several consumers through an independent grid.”
This could come in the form of a mixed renewable energy resource to that of traditional power plant technology such as diesel gensets.
Further in the EU study, it was emphasized that the huge savings “will be realized if the RE share in power generation is at least 23 percent of the energy mix.”