State-owned National Power Corp. (NAPOCOR) is expediting its plan to transition off-grid areas in the country to clean energy sources.
Fernando Martin Roxas, President and CEO of NAPOCOR, outlined the goal of converting all Small Power Utilities Group (SPUG) areas to operate solely on renewable energy by 2030. The initial aim is to achieve 25% conversion next year, followed by the remaining 75% in subsequent years.
Roxas estimated that it may take two years to accomplish the first 25% and an additional four years to approach the target of 100% renewable energy adoption.
The renewable energy transition strategy will involve utilizing various technologies, starting with solar power as the easiest option and then expanding to other alternatives.
Currently, only 2% of SPUG operations rely on renewable energy, with most off-grid islands powered by diesel plants under NAPOCOR’s supervision.
NAPOCOR has been formulating a long-term sustainability plan to mitigate the impact of soaring fuel prices on its operations. One aspect of the plan is the accelerated integration of renewable energy resources into SPUG power plants.
Roxas emphasized his ultimate objective of achieving complete reliance on renewable energy for all SPUG areas.
In March, NAPOCOR announced its decision to cease the procurement of diesel generating sets, aligning with the company’s commitment to sustainability through renewable energy. The directive to halt new diesel genset acquisitions came from Energy Secretary Raphael Lotilla, aiming to reduce the corporation’s dependence on fossil fuels.
In the previous year, NAPOCOR awarded contracts for the installation of approximately 2,600 solar home systems in several locations, including Maconacon and Divilacan in Isabela, as well as various areas in Masbate, Bohol, Dinagat, Sulu, and Basilan.