By Jennifer Catan-Tilos
NEGROS ORIENTAL (PIA) — Energy Development Corporation (EDC) celebrates 40 years of providing clean, renewable, reliable geothermal power to the Philippines this March, according to Ricky Carandang, EDC’s Head for Corporate Affairs.
EDC is the country’s largest purely renewable company with 1,455MW of total installed capacity composed of 1,169MW of geothermal, 150MW of wind power, 132MW of hydro power, and 4MW of solar power in its portfolio.
Carandang said EDC is the world’s largest vertically integrated renewable power producer and is the acknowledged global leader in wet steam field technology.
“Negros Island is blessed to have a vast source of geothermal power, which EDC has been sustainably harnessing since 1983,” said Carandang.
Its 222.5MW geothermal power plants include the 172.5MW Palinpinon 1 and 2 power plants being operated by its subsidiary, Green Core Geothermal, Inc. (GCGI) and its 49.4MW Nasulo power plant.
“Because Negros generates geothermal power, we were able to avoid 54 million tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from coal or about 26 million tons of CO2 versus oil from 1983-2015,” EDC communications officer Frances Ariola explained.
“With the growing demand for lower CO2 emissions to fight climate change as a result of the COP21 conference in Paris last year, we need to switch to more sources renewable energy (RE) to boost our growing economy. Unlike other types of RE like wind and solar, geothermal provides round-the-clock or base load and stable power to the region. You have this natural wonder that is clean, abundant, reliable, and sustainable right in your own province,” said Ariola.
EDC has relied heavily on healthy watersheds in its geothermal reservations to sustain its geothermal source.
In Negros Island, the company has already planted 1.5 million trees on 2,300 hectares from 1983 to 2008.
In 2009, EDC stepped up its reforestation efforts through its BINHI greening legacy and made use of science to focus on planting at least 10,000 hectares of premium native tree species in 10 years.
From 2009-2015, EDC has planted more than two million trees on 2,700 hectares in different areas of Negros Oriental and Negros Occidental under its BINHI program.
Ariola said through BINHI, EDC is able to create more carbon sinks for climate change mitigation.
This further lowers the company’s CO2 emissions and helps the country get closer to its target of reducing its CO2 emissions by 70% in 2030.
In 2010, EDC embarked on its most ambitious greening effort by launching the 10M in 10 for a Greener Negros, the biggest forest restoration movement in the country.
It aims to gather everyone towards a common goal of growing and maintaining the forests of Negros Island and by making this a way of life for Negrenses.
“Our country is one of the most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. We need to act now because it’s the least fortunate families among us that will be mostly affected by catastrophes that it will bring. Greening Negros Island through forest restoration and through the use of geothermal energy is the way to do it,” emphasized Carandang. (rmn/jct/PIA7-Negros Oriental/EDC/This article was first published at PIA website on Mar. 4, 2016))