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AboitizPower sees solar’s bright future

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AMID a rapidly changing energy industry landscape in the Philippines, AboitizPower sees bright prospects for newer technologies such as rooftop solar and deems it critical for power companies to assist customers through this process.

Jose Rafael Mendoza, general manager of the newly-formed AP business unit AboitizPower Distributed Energy Inc. (APX), said more people are becoming interested in rooftop solar and that they would like to help these individuals understand why they should invest in such technology.

AboitizPower Distributed Energy Inc. (APX) General Manager Jose Rafael Mendoza shares facts and insights about solar rooftop technology with more than 300 Cebu-based enterprises during the Cebu Business Month Innovation Summit held at the Waterfront Cebu City Hotel & Casino from June 19 to 20.|Photo by RUEL ROSILLO

“A lot of technology is changing; batteries are getting cheaper. Maybe in three years’ time, they say panels will be half what it costs now. There are many things we need to understand–when you’re going to buy your solar, how you’re going to buy it, and whom you’re going to do it with,” he said in a presentation during a recent business forum in Cebu City, addressing over 300 micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs), local trade and industry leaders, as well as government officials.

Mendoza said customers should choose their partners wisely as well as make sure they have the track record and will be able to provide long-term support.

Mendoza said the growing interest in solar-related technologies could be attributed to an increasing awareness on sustainability and care for the environment, adding that the Philippines has seen its fair share of natural disasters magnified by climate change in recent years.

The AboitizPower group recognizes that this will be a gradual transition, but Mendoza pointed out that the Philippines is quite behind some of more mature markets such as the United States, Europe, and Australia.

“Specifically in Australia, there is already a platform where households are trading their energy credits through their smartphones. You can just imagine the lag in the Philippine energy infrastructure,” Mendoza added.

Mendoza said that AboitizPower nonetheless feels the need to look into what’s next for the energy industry, especially since the company has been in the business of power generation, distribution, and retail electricity services for over 80 years.

In April this year, AboitizPower announced its entry into the rooftop solar space through APX, which aims at further expanding the company’s already significant renewable energy portfolio under its Cleanergy brand.

APX is already looking at completing several key projects in Luzon and Visayas in 2018 with a target to integrate it closely with the group’s existing open access customers.

The new business unit began operating a 100-kilowatt installation on top of the Aboitiz and Co. (ACO) office in Cebu City last March and has since been delivering clean and renewable energy to building tenants like ACO, AboitizPower, AboitizLand, and Pilmico, among others.

Mendoza earlier said that he hoped this maiden project will encourage others to pursue their own sustainability efforts and that utilizing distributed energy such as rooftop solar is a real step forward for those who want to do so.|

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