Hybridization, in combination with properly maintained generator sets (gensets), will enable the National Power Corporation (NAPOCOR) to save around P2.25 billion annually.
This was one of the major findings of a study conducted by experts of the European Union (EU)-funded -Access to Sustainable Energy Programme (ASEP).
ASEP is a joint undertaking of the European Union and the Philippine Department of Energy (DOE). Through ASEP, the EU has allocated a grant of over P 3 billion to assist the Philippine Government in meeting its rural electrification targets through renewable energy (RE) and energy efficiency.
“Our study shows that there will be an estimated P1/kWh cost reduction if NAPOCOR adopts a solar hybridization of its large-scale power plants, which will result in at least P500M savings,” said ASEP Strategic Advisor Dr. Christoph Menke as he addressed energy stakeholders in Powertrends 2018.
He added that another study shows that adopting hybridization in NAPOCOR’S mini-grids and ensuring diesel gensets are running at optimal levels will result in a cost reduction of around P4.5/kWh, which is almost P2.25 billion of annual savings.
According to Dr. Menke, the cost reduction will help bring down the electricity bills of consumers.
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. The mini-grid is supplied by a mix of RE sources and a backup genset which is powered by diesel fuel.
In his presentation, Dr. Menke said the study shows that the huge savings will be realized if the RE share in power generation is at least 23% of the energy mix. On top of this, hybridization will result in better reliability and improved service hours of power plants.
“A hybrid mini-grid will increase the resilience and efficiency of our power generation assets, reduce fuel consumptions and dependence on diesel, which in turn reduce emissions that are harmful to the environment,” Dr. Menke stressed.
Furthermore, the study also found that the hybridization of the fuel source of power plants would result in the reduction of DOE’s Universal Charge on Missionary Electrification (UCME) subsidies and attract the private sector to invest in hybridized power generation.