Despite the effects of the pandemic on the energy sector, it is expected that the demand for energy in our country will increase in the next several years due to economic and demographic growth. With high demand, the price of electricity in our country can break the bank of the average Filipino family. We rely heavily on imported fossil fuels that are not only expensive but also harmful to the environment. More and more countries are starting to invest in renewable energy, as it is more practical and environmentally friendly, and it produces more jobs nowadays compared to the fossil fuel industry. It’s time we follow suit—it’s time we recognize that RE is the future of our country’s development.
Why do we have to shift?
We just have to look at the map to know why we need to make the switch—the Philippines is located where there are no significant fossil fuel deposits. This makes us reliant on other countries for our oil supply. Because of this, we are vulnerable to oil price fluctuations and energy insecurities, making electricity a lot expensive while also being inefficient for certain places in our country.
We are one of the most vulnerable countries to the adverse effects of climate change. Just last November, we were decimated by the strongest typhoon of the year—super-typhoon Rolly, which claimed lives, livestock, and livelihood. If climate change-related catastrophes like this continue to pummel our country, it is projected that it will reduce our country’s long-term economic growth by 0.02% annually, which equates to a 3.8% GDP reduction in the year 2050. If we want to mitigate the effects of climate change, we need to look at other sources of energy apart from fossil fuels, which contribute greatly to global warming.
There are already several countries thriving on the use of renewable energy. Take Iceland for example, a country previously reliant on coal and oil. With the collaboration of local entrepreneurs and the government, Iceland was able to develop a framework that incentivizes and supports geothermal energy projects. Nowadays, Iceland powers its heavy industries and homes through hydro and geothermal energy.
Renewable energy in the Philippines
Like Iceland, we are also a country rich in geothermal energy sources since the Philippines is located in the Pacific Ring of Fire. EDC has geothermal energy facilities in Leyte, North Cotabato, and Negros, with the facility in Leyte having the largest installed capacity among all geothermal plants in the country and the world’s biggest wet steamfield. Geothermal energy is the Holy Grail among RE technologies with its inherent ability to provide a stable and reliable source of baseload or 24/7 power, or what EDC refers to as Geo 24/7.
These renewable energy facilities are becoming cheaper and cheaper to develop compared to the operation of traditional fossil fuel power plants. It is reported that 42% of global coal power plants are not profitable anymore and are expected to have another downturn soon. Because of this, more and more renewable energy plants are being built around the world, which means more job opportunities for the Filipino people if we make the shift to RE. In 2018, in the US, the fastest-growing jobs were in the renewable energy industry, with approximately 3.3 million Americans working in the clean energy industry.
If we take a step back and start to look at the bigger picture, shifting to RE has far greater merits than sticking to fossil fuel. In some cases in our country, RE even helps save biodiversity. EDC’s BINHI program is successful in conducting forest restorations in geothermal energy production sites in Leyte, Bicol, Negros, and Mount Apo. The shift to RE does not only help us economically, but down the road, it will be our foundation for building a regenerative world for the generations to come.
To learn more about shifting to renewable energy to power your business better and lower your carbon footprint, visit: https://www.energy.com.ph/shift-to-renewable-energy/
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.