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Napocor targets off-grid areas for RE expansion

THE National Power Corp. (Napocor) said it will focus its efforts in expanding renewable energy (RE) on off-grid areas, which are served by its Small Power Utilities Group (SPUG).

“We hope the first 25% will happen next year, then we’ll work on the 75% after that,” Fernando Martin Y. Roxas, Napocor president, told reporters on the sidelines of The Future Energy Solar Show Philippines 2023. He was referring to the targets for RE share in SPUG operations.

Currently, Mr. Roxas said renewable energy in SPUG operations consists of only 2%. He hopes to hit close to 100% in the four years after 2024.

SPUG serves remote areas typically by deploying diesel generators, making the group vulnerable to fuel price swings.

He said that Napocor is looking at many renewable energy technologies at the moment, with solar power currently in favor.

“We will start with solar, because that is easier, then we will work our way to other technologies,” Mr. Roxas said.

He noted that solar power suffers from shortcomings like intermittency, the loss of power generation capacity when the sun is unavailable.

In January, Napocor announced a plan to cut back on SPUG operations due to the high price of diesel fuel, but deferred implementation to March after a series of consultations. — Ashley Erika O. Jose

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