Napocor will no longer purchase diesel-powered generator sets
MANILA, Philippines — The National Power Corporation (Napocor), the government agency mandated to bring electricity to rural areas, has promised to refrain from acquiring new diesel-powered generator sets in accordance with the Department of Energy (DOE) directive.
According to Napocor president Fernando Martin Roxas, aside from complying with Energy Secretary Raphael Lotilla’s order to stop buying diesel generator sets, the agency also wants to fast-track the government’s renewable energy program within its Small Power Utilities Group (SPUG) power plants.
The directive is aimed at achieving a cleaner power mix for the country, which means refraining from depending on fossil fuels.
“We intend to push for hybridization for existing SPUG and to fully utilize renewable energy with energy storage systems for new areas,” Roxas said.
“This will minimize the losses incurred from rising fuel costs and will eventually make our operations more sustainable,” he added.
In replacement of the diesel generator sets would be an increase in the solar home systems (SHS) wind resource assessment (WRA) in areas where wind farms are suitable.
As of now, 2,600 units of SHS have been placed in Maconacon and Divilacan towns in Isabela, and in various localities in Masbate, Bohol, Dinagat, Sulu, and Basilan.
Napocor said SHS units include solar panels, batteries, LED lamps, radio, and torch lamps with 5V charging ports — a set which each household in SPUG areas would receive
“My ultimate goal is to convert all SPUG areas to 100% RE operations,” Roxas said. “What is good for the environment is likewise good for Napocor.”
There have been many proposals to move away from fossil fuels, as the byproducts of this energy source — emissions — have been deemed harmful for the environment.
Wind and solar farms have been the leading candidate, but there are also suggestions to look at nuclear energy.
Last November 2022, Northern Samar 1st District Rep. Paul Daza warned that several SPUG areas may be without power if Napocor’s budget is not increased, because the agency asked for a P45 billion allocation for 2023 but only got around P33 billion.
Daza explained that the slashed budget might hinder Napocor’s operations because it can no longer buy fuel from suppliers due to a substantial unpaid debt.