QUICK READ: Regenerative thinking that is anchored on doing more and shifting to renewables may soon prove to be a better normal with EDC leading the way.
By May Dedicatoria | Philstar.com
Sustainability or “doing less harm” may no longer be enough to save the planet. At this pace when we consume an estimated 1.75 Earths per year—meaning, 75% more resources than our planet’s ability to replenish—the only way to have a healthy and livable future is to regenerate.
For Energy Development Corporation (EDC) and the Lopez Group, regeneration “is about aligning our business, our resources, and our capabilities to elevate everything we touch,” said Ricky Tantoco, president and chief operating officer of EDC.
“Regeneration includes our employees, our community, our environment, our customers, employees, and our partners. Everyone needs to benefit from the positive impact of our decisions and actions. While our investors are important, regenerative thinking demands that we look at our business from a wider lens, [more] than just profitability,” he added.
Typhoon Yolanda, which badly hit the province of Leyte where one of the world’s biggest geothermal facilities is located, was an eye-opener for the Lopez Group.
Hence in 2016, Federico Lopez, chairman and chief executive officer of EDC, declared that the Lopez Group of companies will not invest in anything related to coal and will only pursue clean energy.
Several years of adhering to sustainable business practices and our worsening climate made the conglomerate realize that what they were doing was not enough. Sustainability, which mostly seeks to do less harm, was not enough to reverse or alleviate climate change.
This pushed the group to crystallize its mission last year: “to forge collaborative pathways for a decarbonized and regenerative future.”
EDC elevates its customers with affordable, reliable, 100% clean, renewable power as part of fulfilling its purpose.
The company is the largest 100% RE provider in the Philippines, operating over 1,185MW of geothermal, 150MW of wind, 132MW of hydroelectric power, and 12 W of solar—for a total of 1,479MW of clean and renewable energy.
Cleaner, renewable, more efficient—and when extracted and processed using high-efficiency technology—geothermal energy, which is EDC’s main product, promises to be the future’s most sustainable and powerful energy source.
While energy harnessed from solar, wind, and hydro sources all help in decarbonizing our grid, their dependence on certain conditions like sunlight or weather conditions make them intermittent. Geothermal energy on the other hand provides stable and reliable baseload power at all hours of the day, thus “Geo 24/7.”
Being a reliable 24/7 source of clean, renewable energy that has minimal carbon emissions makes geothermal better than non-RE sources of power.
Moreover, geothermal energy is indigenous and is, therefore, not susceptible to external fluctuations of fuel supply and prices. The Philippines has been blessed with abundant geothermal resources, which EDC has been expertly and sustainably harnessing for 45 years now.
Renewable energy use
In 2001, the Philippines passed the Electric Power Industry Reform Act (RA 9136), which promotes the utilization of RE resources in power generation in order to reduce dependence on imported energy.
The law mandates the creation of Retail Competition and Open Access (RCOA) to allow power suppliers to directly transact with any customer designated by the Energy Regulatory Board (ERC) as part of the contestable market—this refers to businesses and institutions whose monthly electric consumption average is 500kw and above.
The law also allows these customers to decide which electricity suppliers to source power from.
Hand-in-hand with this law is the Renewable Energy Act (RA 9513) of 2008, which aims to increase the percentage of RE use and reduce dependence on coal and fossil fuel.
One of its sections tackles the Green Energy Option Program (GEOP), which provides end-users with an average monthly consumption of at least 100kw the option to choose RE resources as their sources of energy.
“The end-user who will enroll under the energy option program should be informed by way of its monthly electric bill, how much of its monthly energy consumption and generation charge is provided by RE facilities,” it states.
For its part, EDC expanded from providing power to electric utilities and distribution utilities to also becoming a retail electricity supplier, providing the same clean, renewable, reliable Geo 24/7 to contestable consumers through RCOA and, soon, GEOP.
According to its website, the benefits of shifting to renewable energy through EDC are as follows:
- 100% baseload RE source, which is reliable, low-carbon, and environment-friendly
- Smooth and comprehensive transition, as EDC will take care of your RE shift process while you focus on your business
- Flexible contract terms, which are aligned to your power demand or requirements
- Customized value-added services, offering a menu of both power and non-power value-added services tailored to your business needs
- Partnerships for EDC’s flagship CSR projects, such as BINHI and SIKAT
- Cost-competitive rates
Qualified power customers now have the ability to personally take a stand for the environment, to reduce their carbon footprint as their contribution to fighting climate change, and to become a model not only for sustainability but for the next best practice of regenerative development by simply choosing where to buy electricity.
Addressing the climate crisis
Even before the lockdown, EDC has been conducting climate change workshops and helping its customers find ways to reduce their own energy consumption and losses and carbon footprint.
EDC’s annual carbon footprint is significantly lower at only a tenth of the carbon footprint of an average coal power plant. In generating 9.3 gigawatt-hours (GWh) of electricity in 2019, EDC was able to avoid 8,155,348 tonnes of CO2 compared to an average coal power plant that generated the same amount of energy. This is equivalent to the carbon sequestration of approximately 265 million trees.
“With very little time left to keep warming our planet within the desired 1.5 degrees Celsius agreed to in COP 21, this decade of the 2020s will critically determine whether we succeed or not. To succeed, humanity needs to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 6% every year until we achieve net zero emissions in 2050,” says Tantoco.
“Thankfully, our investors and shareholders share our mission of decarbonization through clean energy. And we look forward to the long journey ahead in a truly regenerative partnership with them,” he added.
Pandemic or not, this REgenerative thinking that is anchored on doing more and shifting to renewables may soon prove to be a better normal as EDC strives to lead the country’s movement beyond sustainability by elevating everything it touches—a journey that the company began when it was established 45 years ago.
The Energy Development Corporation (EDC) is a pioneer in generating 100% clean, renewable, and reliable power as an electricity supplier in the Philippines for over 40 years. With power plants all over Visayas and Mindanao, the company is one of the biggest producers of geothermal energy in Asia and is expanding its reach in the international market, allowing it to offer customers affordable energy rates. EDC also strives to provide the best customer service it can to all its clients by having helpful salespeople and easy to understand contracts. Because of all of this, it is poised to become the premier supplier of electricity for the Philippines’ Green Energy Option Program. EDC takes its mission as a renewable energy provider seriously and goes beyond sustainability by investing in programs that enhance the environment and empower its partner communities, thereby fostering regenerative development. The company has also been working toward being carbon-neutral by improving its energy efficiency, as well as implementing various greening projects to ensure that its mission to provide future generations with a better life remains intact.