THE Philippines could potentially achieve $10 billion in savings and reduce its carbon dioxide emissions by up to 16 million tons within a 25-year period by optimizing its energy ecosystem assets, according to US multinational conglomerate General Electric (GE).
The future of the Philippines’ energy sector was part of the discussions on Wednesday at GE’s “Powering the Philippines” conference held in Makati.
“Adopting the latest technologies will be critical in transforming the future of our energy landscape. 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,” GE Philippines CEO Jose Victor Emmanuel De Dios said.
GE’s latest technologies are part of the company’s Energy Ecosystem portfolio which was designed in part to support the massive electricity growth needs of the ASEAN region.
In the Philippines, 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.
The Department of Energy (DoE) estimates the country will need 43.76 GW of additional power generation capacity until 2040, Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi reiterated during the conference.
“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 Asean President and CEO Wouter Van Wersch said.
The conference featured speeches and panel discussions on energy policy and infrastructure from representatives of various agencies and groups, and speakers shared insights on critical topics, including energy security.
In his keynote address, Cusi said: “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.”
The use of advanced software and analytics, sensors, and cloud storage technologies to better analyze ‘big data’ produced by power plants, was another focus topic.
According to GE research, carbon emissions from existing coal and gas power plants can be cut by as much as
10 percent with digital upgrades. It noted this is particularly relevant to the Philippines, which relies on coal for 42 percent of its electricity needs.
“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.
Panelists and attendees agreed that improving the country’s electrification rate, finding the ideal energy mix, and implementing policies to spur growth in renewables are the priority issues that the nation should address in the future.