Friday, May 30, 2014

Climate change and power plants: How Obama's forthcoming carbon emission limits will work

Philippine Star
By Josh Lederman (Associated Press) | Updated May 30, 2014 - 6:00am

WASHINGTON -- The Obama administration is poised to unveil the first rules limiting carbon emissions from the thousands of power plants across the nation. The pollution controls form the cornerstone of President Barack Obama's campaign to combat climate change and a key element of his legacy.

Obama says the rules are essential to curb the heat-trapping greenhouse gases blamed for global warming. Critics contend the rules will kill jobs, drive up electricity prices and shutter plants across the country.

Environmentalists and industry advocates alike are eagerly awaiting the specifics, which the Environmental Protection Agency will make public for the first time on Monday and Obama will champion from the White House.

While the details remain murky, the administration says the rules will play a major role in achieving the pledge Obama made in Copenhagen during his first year in office to cut America's carbon emissions by about 17 percent by 2020.

Some questions and answers about the proposal:

___

Q: How does the government plan to limit emissions?

A: Unable to persuade Congress to act on climate change, Obama is turning to the Clean Air Act. The 1970s-era law has long been used to regulate pollutants like soot, mercury and lead but has only recently been applied to greenhouse gases.

Unlike with new power plants, the government can't regulate existing plant emissions directly. Instead, the government will issue guidelines for cutting emissions, then each state will develop its own plan to meet those guidelines. If a state refuses, the EPA can create its own plan.

___

Q: Why are these rules necessary?

A: Power plants are the single largest source of greenhouse gas emissions in the U.S. Environmentalists and the White House say without bold action, climate change will intensify and endanger the public's well-being around the world. In its National Climate Assessment this year, the administration said warming and erratic weather will become increasingly disruptive unless curtailed.

"This is not some distant problem of the future. This is a problem that is affecting Americans right now," Obama said earlier this month.

Of course, the United States is only one player in the global climate game. These rules won't touch carbon emissions in other nations whose coal plants are even dirtier. But the White House believes that leading by example gives the U.S. more leverage to pressure other countries to reduce their own emissions.

___

Q: How steep will the reductions be?

A: We don't know.

The administration hasn't said whether it will set one universal standard or apply different standards in each state. But Obama's senior counselor, John Podesta, said the reductions will be made "in the most cost-effective and most efficient way possible," by giving flexibility to the states.

That could include offsetting emissions by increasing the use of solar and nuclear power, switching to cleaner-burning fuels like natural gas or creating efficiency programs that reduce energy demand. States might also pursue an emissions-trading plan — also known as cap-and-trade — as several northeast states have already done.

___

Q: How will they affect my power bill? What about the economy?

A: It depends where you live. Different states have a different mixes of coal versus gas and other fuels, so the rules will affect some states more than others. Dozens of coal-burning plants have already announced they plan to close.

Still, it's a good bet the rules will drive up electricity prices. The U.S. relies on coal for 40 percent of its electricity, and the Energy Department predicts retail power prices will rise this year because of environmental regulations, economic forces and other factors.

Environmentalists argue that some of those costs are offset by decreased health care costs and other indirect benefits. They also say the transition toward greener fuels could create jobs.

___

Q: Doesn't Obama need approval from Congress?

A: Not for this. A 2007 Supreme Court ruling gave the EPA the green light to regulate carbon-dioxide under the Clean Air Act. But that doesn't mean there won't be fierce opposition and drawn-out litigation. The government is expecting legal challenges and is preparing to defend the rules in court if necessary.

___

Q: Is this the final step?

A: Not even close. After the draft rule is proposed, there's a full year for public comment and revisions. Then states have another year to submit their implementation plans to the EPA.
source

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Energy firm eyes fund raising

Business World Online
Posted on May 29, 2014 11:33:27 PM

BASIC Energy Corp. has tapped Unicapital, Inc. as advisor for future fund-raising activities, the listed power firm said in a brief disclosure yesterday.
The company said its board of directors, in a meeting last Wednesday, approved the “engagement of Unicapital… as exclusive financial advisor and investment banker for the company’s fund raising for its energy projects.”

Sought for details, Basic Energy President and Chief Executive Officer Oscar L. de Venecia, Jr. said in a text message: “We will begin discussing with Unicapital our requirements so we can look at our options for fund raising in the future.”

“No definite plans yet.”

Basic Energy is involved in various oil exploration activities. It currently holds minority stakes in service contracts (SC) 47 and SC 53, located offshore and onshore Mindoro province, respectively, as well as SC 41 in Sulu Sea.

The company, through its subsidiaries, is also involved in the production of ethanol and other biofuels; development of geothermal renewable energy resources; as well as development and production of farm products.

Basic holds geothermal service contracts in Mabini, Batangas; Iriga, Camarines Sur; Mariveles, Bataan; and East Mankayan which spans three provinces in the Cordillera Administrative Region (Benguet, Mt. Province and Ifugao).

Last February, it also announced its plan to venture into hydropower development after it bagged contracts to develop four projects with total capacity of 9 megawatts (MW). These contracts cover the Puntian 1, Puntian 2, and Talabaan hydro projects with a capacity of 2 MW each; and the 3-MW Malogo project.

The projects are located in the municipality of Murcia, as well as the cities of Victoria and Cadiz -- all in Negros Occidental.

The company trimmed its net loss to P5.643 million as of end March from P5.860 million in the same three months last year.

In the same comparative periods, revenues grew 27.28% to P5.976 million from P4.695 million, while expenses jumped 28.1% to P11.619 million from P9.07 million.

Shares of the company were last traded on Wednesday, when they ended 26 centavos apiece. -- Claire-Ann Marie C. Feliciano source

Nuke plant could solve Mindanao power crisis

The Manila Times
May 29, 2014 7:13 pm
by NOEL TARRAZONA, CORRESPONDENT

ZAMBOANGA CITY: Mindanao councilors urged the national government to study the possibility of building a nuclear power plant to solve the power crisis in the region.
Taking part in the three-day regional assembly of the Philippine Councilors League (PCL) which began on Thursday, majority of the 200 city and municipal councilors expressed their support to nuclear power.
PCL Zamboanga del Sur chapter president Ernesto Mondarte said it is high time that the national government study the putting up of nuclear power plant in Mindanao since this is the most stable, safest and cheapest way of generating power.
Mondarte, a councilor of Pagadian City, offered his province as site of a nuclear plant if the Department of Energy (DOE) decides to put up one.
When asked on the safety of the plant, Mondarte said “ Japan is a model of having nuclear plant as source of power. Japan went through a lot of earthquakes and tsunamis but the nuclear plant has not caused any adverse effects to its population”.
He also noted that Vietnam is a third world country like the Philippines but it decided to put up seven nuclear power plants.
“Vietnam was a very poor country but it has stable power because of its nuclear plant and this country is now rapidly progressing,” said Mondarte.
Mondarte added that the city council of Pagadian already passed a resolution asking the DOE to send an expert to enlighten residents on the capability of a nuclear plant to provide power in Mindanao.
Councilor Riza Melicor, PCL Zamboanga del Norte chapter secretary general, said she is supporting the move to build a nuclear plant in Mindanao if it will solve the problem.
Melicor said Zamboanga del Norte has been experiencing up to six hourse of power outage. She was surprised to learn that her electric bill increased by 30 percent despite the browout.
Melicor, a member of the Nacionalista Party, appealed to President Benigno Aquino 3rd to appoint an action officer to address the power crisis in Mindanao.
Councilor Crizmille Jajurie of Sibugay province said the national government should resort to other sources of power. Jajurie said that in her province, small farmer-entrepreneurs have resorted to buying solar power which is very expensive and these farmers are having difficulty in their rice milling work because of power outage lasting up to eight hours daily.
In Kidapawan City, village chief Jojo Sibug said President Aquino should be decisive in addressing the power crisis in Mindanao and refrain from making promises that the government is doing something.
Rolly Pelinggon, chief executive officer of Mark Builders, one of Mindanao’s biggest construction companies based in Cagayan de Oro, is also in favor of nuclear plant but adds “the government has to look first into developing Mindanao rivers as a possible source of power.”
Aside from power crisis, the PCL conference will also tackle important matters about the duties and responsibilities of local legislators. source

Bataan power plant blamed for fish kill

The Manila Times
May 29, 2014 7:13 pm
by ERNIE ESCONDE

Fishermen and residents on Wednesday found dead fishes floating in the sea near Kitang III in Barangay Luz-Kitang II located near the Bataan Thermal Power Plant (BTPP).
This was confirmed by Councilman Francis Abelojar, chairman of the Committee on Agriculture and Fisheries, who said collected fish and oil samples were brought to the municipal agriculture office for testing.
“Nananawagan kami sa concerned government agency na bigyan kami ng karapatan na makapasok sa planta ng National Power Corporation (Napocor) upang matukoy kung anong kemikal ang dumadaloy at malaman kung may toxin ito [We are calling on the concerned government agency to allow us to enter the Napocor plant so we can identify the chemical and determine if this is toxic],” Abelojar said.
The oil reportedly originated from the mouth of a big pipe in the compound of the closed and non-operational thermal plant.
“I’m sure the oil came from the plant,” said Barangay Chairman Oscar Peralta of Luz-Kitang II who visited the area.
He said the leader of fishermen in the area told him that their livelihood was affected by the oil spill. About 200 families live in the village and they feared the fish could be dangerous.
“Nag-aalaala ang mga mangingisda na baka may lason ang isdang mahuli nila at makain [The fishermen are worried that their catch is poisonous],” Peralta said.
“Saan sila kukuha ng ikabubuhay ngayon? [What will they do now for a living?],” he added.
A team from the Philippine Coast Guard in Lamao, Limay tried to enter the BTPP but were prevented from doing so by security guards.
Villager Marcelino Ebnace collected some fish, cooked them, and gave this to his dog but the latter would not touch them.
He said it was the first time that a fish kill occurred there. source

Meralco, partner to take over Pampanga electric co-op

By Ding Cervantes (The Philippine Star) | Updated May 29, 2014 - 12:00am

MABALACAT CITY, Philippines - – The Manila Electric Co. (Meralco) and its local partner ComsTech are finally taking over next month the management and operations of the beleaguered Pampanga Electric Cooperative II (Pelco II) which supplies electricity to this city and five towns.

“We are pumping some P1.2 billion for the takeover of Pelco II whose debt amounts to as much,” said Dennis Uy, president and chief executive officer of Angeles City-based ComsTech.

Uy said the takeover starts this June, adding that Meralco chairman Manny Pangilinan considers this as part of his legacy to his fellow Kapampangans. Pangilinan was born in Apalit town.

With an offer of P1.2 billion, Meralco and ComsTech won the bidding for the investment and management contract of Pelco II as authorized by the National Electrification Administration (NEA). The contract would last 20 years, Uy said.

“Pelco II will still own the cooperative, but Meralco and ComsTech will manage and operate it under the investment and management contract,” Uy said.

The contract also provides that Meralco and ComsTech will assume responsibility for the electric cooperative’s liabilities, he added.

Apart from this city with a population of about 300,000, Pelco II also distributes power to the towns of Guagua, Bacolor, Sta. Rita, Lubao, and Porac.

A survey conducted among its consumers indicated widespread dissatisfaction with its electric service, amid allegations of questionable bills.

“Among the things we plan to do is to adopt a system to make sure that those who read electric meters really do, and not merely guess,” Uy said.

Uy gave assurance on the availability of retirement funds for long-time Pelco II workers who have long wanted to retire but could not do so because of lack of funds.

He said Pelco II’s workforce is bloated with 500 personnel, despite estimates it could work efficiently with only 150.

“All those who will have to go should, however, (they will) be given the proper benefits,” he said.

Last December, Pelco II board members adopted a resolution issued by the NEA inviting all interested and qualified parties to participate in the bidding for providing investments and the management of assets, operations, business and liabilities of Pelco II.  source

Meralco expanding nationwide

Manila Standard Today
By Alena Mae S. Flores | May. 29, 2014 at 12:01am

Manila Electric Co., the country’s biggest power distributor, plans to expand its electricity distribution network beyond its franchise area to include other parts of Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao.

Meralco president Oscar Reyes said the distribution company planned to expand in areas that required stable supply of electricity. “On growing our electric distribution service area, there exist areas in the country where development is hampered due to lack of reliable and reasonably-priced electricity,” Reyes told reporters.

Meralco also disclosed to the stock exchange it recently signed a 25-year concession agreement with the Philippine Export Processing Zone Authority for the operation and maintenance of the power distribution facilities in the Cavite Ecozone up to May 2039.

Meralco said under the agreement, it would provide distribution utility services within the Cavite Ecozone area, as well as invest a total of P300 million for the improvement of the power distribution system and customer service facilities at the ecozone during the 25-year period.

Cavite Ecozone is the largest Peza-owned ecozone and is home to around 400 multinational industrial and commercial locators and is located 30 minutes away from Manila in Rosario, Cavite.

“The agreement leverages Meralco’s more than 100 years of experience in electricity distribution and customer-centered service in support of Peza’s vision of moving CEZ close towards being a world-class investment destination,” the company said.

Meralco officials have earlier expressed interest to expand operations through the acquisition of distribution utilities or electric cooperatives. Reyes said Meralco was pursuing opportunities in these areas to bring the distributor’s resources and track record of performance to the benefit of the consumers and their communities.

Reyes said Meralco was looking at distribution utilities and electric cooperatives in more provinces, from Pampanga all the way to La Union. He said the company was also scouting parts of Laguna where the company was not yet present to Batangas.

“And as far as parts of Visayas and Mindanao. Our objective is if, there areas where Meralco can be of value because we have the resources, we have the track record, we have the experience. Because if there are already utilities there, private DUs or ECs doing a good job there, there’s no way Meralco can contribute. In that way we help improve the countryside, we help improve the communities because we observed that when we go to certain areas, other businesses follow,” Reyes said. source

Bank manager absconds; PH power policy wanting

Manila Standard Today
By Ray S. EƱano | May. 29, 2014 at 12:01am

...
...

Unreliable partner

The state is proving to be an unreliable partner of the private sector in building critical power plants in the country. Meralco PowerGen Corp., a unit of retailer Manila Electric Co., has learned this lesson, which may prove costly to the Philippine economy.

Its planned 600-megawatt coal-fired plant in Subic, through Redondo Peninsula Energy, remains stuck in a legal battle and has been on the burner since 2010. The plant would have been online by 2015 or 2016, just in time to help stabilize the Luzon grid.

It takes about 36 to 42 months to complete a power plant and the Luzon grid will require 600 MW of new capacity every year starting 2015 to meet the rising electricity demand. In comparison, MGen took only five months to complete the acquisition of an 800-MW gas-fired power plant in Singapore.

Meralco chairman Manuel V. Pangilinan, or MVP, has noted government’s indifference toward the the construction of power plants in the Philippines. In a speech during the recent 23rd World Economic Forum on East Asia, MVP said the government must provide a clearer and more realistic policy on the country’s power generation requirements to guide investors in the sector, as Luzon faces a “very tight” power-supply situation.

Guillermo “Bill” Luz, co-chairman of the National Competitiveness Council, the agency tasked to advance the country’s global competitiveness, meanwhile, assured MVP that the administration was stepping up efforts to improve the business environment in the country, adding the government had started to trim the number of signatures, permits and other documents required to approve power plant projects.

Power producers say close to 150 permits were needed to put up an infrastructure project such as a power plant.

State support needed

Energy Secretary Carlos Jericho Petilla has finally conceded the need for state support in promptly issuing permits for qualified prospective projects. “Actually, we would like to ask lawmakers to come up with a bill that will hasten the construction stage... because these projects affect national interest,” he said.

The strain on power plants during the dry season has highlighted how the Philippines’ underperforming electricity sector threatens the country’s economic growth.

Aboitiz Power Corp. top honcho Erramon Aboitiz has sounded the alarm bells. “It’s time to worry. New plants are being delayed and reserves are really down. Investors are always forward-looking and when they see projections of a potential power problem, they’ll decide to put their investments somewhere else.” source

E-mail: rayenano@yahoo.com
or business@manilastandardtoday.com
or extrastory2000@gmail.com

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Meralco keen to buy electric co-ops, distribution utilities

Business Mirror
28 May 2014 Written by Lenie Lectura

POWER distributor Manila Electric Co. (Meralco) is seriously looking into expanding its presence outside of its franchise area by acquiring distribution utilities (DUs) and electric cooperatives (ECs).

“We are looking for new opportunities in new areas,” said President Oscar Reyes. In particular, Reyes said the utility firm is “looking [for investment opportunities] in the north from Pampanga all the way to La Union. In the south, from parts of Laguna to Batangas.”

Meralco, the country’s largest electric power distribution company, has been scouting for prospective acquisitions to expand presence in the distribution sector.

Reyes said Meralco’s interest could go “as far as parts of the Visayas and Mindanao.” “There are areas where Meralco can be of value because we have the resources; we have the track record; and we have the experience. The objective is to be able to improve the service where we can and provide reliable and least cost of electricity,” said the Meralco official.

He said Meralco will not acquire another distribution utility if it’s already doing a good job in its assigned franchise area. “If there are already private DUs and ECs doing a good job there then what else can Meralco contribute?”

The utility firm has a franchise service area covering 9,337 square kilometers and distributes power to over 5 million customers in 34 cities and 77 municipalities in Metro Manila, the provinces of Rizal, Cavite and Bulacan, and parts of the provinces of Pampanga, Batangas, Laguna and Quezon. It supplies power to about 75 percent of the power in Luzon and 55 percent of the whole country. Last year Meralco Chairman Manuel V. Pangilinan said there are ongoing negotiations with prospective DUs and ECs. source

Cepalco: There will be fewer brownouts in Cagayan De Oro

Business Mirror
28 May 2014 Written by Butch D. Enerio / Correspondent

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY—There will be fewer power interruptions in this city following improved power allocation by the National Grid Corp. of the Philippines (NGCP).

This is expected to ease the rotating brownouts experienced by this city’s residents the past few weeks.

Marilyn A. Chavez, senior manager for customer and community relations of the Cagayan Electric Power and Light Co. (Cepalco), said power allocation from the NGCP has gotten better.

“We are happy to announce we had no rotating brownouts these past three days because our allocation from NGCP has improved,” Chavez said.

Chavez said Cepalco’s hourly allocation as of last Friday had increased to 75 megawatts (MW) compared to only 54 MW a week ago, representing an increase of 21 MW or 39 percent.

She said the big improvement resulted fewer brownouts even if Cepalco exceeded its allocation by 15 MW.

Chavez said although there was no official word from NGCP, rains during the past few days improved the capacity of the Agus plants.

Cepalco said they expect the power-supply situation to improve further this week once the first unit of STEAG State Power Inc., the 105-MW plant, gets back online.

Steag reported that its Unit 1 will be operational by June 1 and the recommissioning will be done this coming Sunday.

“Barring any complications to our turbines, we hope to be online before June 1,” said Ma. Teresa R. Alegrio, Steag community relations manager.

Steag said the power plant’s turbines suffered extensive damage during an accident on February 27 which sent it offline for protracted repairs.

Steag’s Unit 2 went back online earlier this month, partly relieving the critical power-supply situation in Mindanao.

Cepalco is hopeful that the trend will continue and with the good news coming from STEAG any time next week, the additional 105 MW will be on-stream.

“That’s really welcome news because that could also mean our allocation would also increase,” Chavez said.

However, she added Cepalco would still continue posting its rotating-brownout schedules since NGCP could shut it off anytime once the Mindanao grid goes critical. source

Meralco pilots micro-grid project in Rizal

Manila Bulletin
by Myrna Velasco
May 28, 2014

Innovation is definitely a core pathway for power utility giant Manila Electric Company (Meralco) as it is now pursuing a ‘micro-grid pilot project’ in Talim Island in Rizal province.

In a briefing with reporters, Meralco senior executive vice president and networks head Ricardo V. Buencamino noted that the micro-grid project (also referred to as ‘distributed generation’) involved the deployment of utility-scale solar power facility with storage system.

“It is a completely solar with storage for 1.0 megawatt,” he said, emphasizing that the pilot endeavor will serve as the company’s ‘proof-of-concept’ if it can be adopted as solution to other segments of its end-users, such as industries.

Buencamino emphasized that with the installation of storage system in their micro-grid venture, drawing power from the grid could just then serve as a back-up. The micro-grid pilot, he specified, will be connected to the utility firm’s Dolores substation.

Compared to the typical grid-connected power plants, distribution generation facilities are being built very close to the end-user, hence, reducing probable system losses and could also pare cost for what could have been longer power lines.

Buencamino admitted though that storage system is still very expensive, since even the more mature power markets are still at “experimental phases” when it comes to commercial phase applications of the technology.

In fact, in some power markets in Europe, the use of storage system for renewable energy (RE) technologies are still being subsidized just so they can first coax acceptability and establish feasibility of the option.

The Meralco executive similarly noted that they are in the process of tapping a partner for the project. Their first step to it though is study the system, including the storage component via synergies with American firm Tesla Motors which is also engaged in storage technologies as a support to its plan of massive-scale deployment of electric vehicles.

“We don’t have any partner yet…we are still looking for a partner,” he stressed. He averred though that their initial learning from Tesla could be useful in their search for a co-venturer.

Another facet they have been staunchly engaging themselves on is helping set the regulatory framework that could advance the rollout of such innovations in the restructured power industry.

Meralco President Oscar S. Reyes further intimated that their company “always looks for new developments in the electric power industry…primarily on technology and innovations.” source

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

DOE assures Luzon of stable power supply

By Artemio Dumlao (The Philippine Star) | Updated May 27, 2014 - 12:00am

BAGUIO CITY, Philippines – The Department of Energy yesterday assured power consumers in Luzon of stable power supply, as it pegged the region’s power reserve at more than 900 megawatts (MW).

Efren Balaoing, DOE-Luzon field office director, said occasional rains in the Baguio-Benguet area and the upcoming rainy season would rejuvenate the Cordillera watersheds.

Balaoing gave the assurance during the sidelights of the DOE-led forum on the multi-sectoral advocacy campaign on downstream oil industry here.

He said the Cordilleras serves as the watershed cradle of northern Luzon. It brings water to the lowlands and boosts the power-generating capacity of the Ambuklao and Binga Dams, both in Benguet.

“Ambuklao generates 105 MW while Binga produces 125 MW,” he said.

The DOE official remains optimistic with the rich potential of the Cordilleras to produce geothermal and hydroelectric power.

He said there are six pending applications for the construction of geothermal plants in the region, that if approved would generate 230 MW.

There are around 22 applications for hydropower plants that can bring in more than 700 MW of power supply.

“If these power generation development contracts push through, (they) would boost the energy supply here in the Cordilleras and the rest of Luzon,” Balaoing said. source

Monday, May 26, 2014

Government considers more wind power

Business World Online
Posted on May 26, 2014 10:38:22 PM
By Claire-Ann C. Feliciano, Senior Reporter

THE GOVERNMENT is considering increasing the capacity allocation for wind power projects under the feed-in tariff (FiT) program.

This after the Department of Energy (DoE) decided to hike the solar project installation under the program to 500 megawatts from 50 MW.

“The DoE and National Renewable Energy Board (NREB) will study possible installation target adjustment later this year, once the commercial operation dates of ongoing wind projects are definite,” said NREB Chairman Pedro H. Maniego in a text message to reporters.

Currently, wind projects are allocated 200 MW.

“The wind proponents must show that their projects will be quick to deploy like solar, so as to augment the power supply and thus moderate the increase in WESM (Wholesale Electricity Spot Market) prices during peak demand periods,” Mr. Maniego added.

Data from the DoE showed that wind power projects scheduled to be commissioned this year are Energy Development Corp.’s 87-MW plant in Ilocos Norte (December); Trans-Asia Oil Renewable Energy Corp.’s 54-MW plant in Guimaras Island (August); and PetroGreen Energy Corp.’s 50-MW plant in Aklan (December).

Earlier this month, the DoE bared plans to increase the capacity allocation for solar to address the problem of tight power supply in the country.

Mr. Maniego said that “the DoE already issued a certification adjusting total solar installation target from 50 MW to 500 MW and transmitted it to the ERC (Energy Regulatory Commission) last week.”

He added that the ERC will review the DoE’s plan and set the new FIT rates.

Under the FIT, renewable energy (RE) developers will dispatch the capacity of their projects to the grid at a premium rate for a period of 20 years.

The rates approved in July 2012 are: run-of-river hydro, P5.90 per kilowatt-hour; biomass, P6.63/kWh; wind, P8.53; and solar, P9.68/kWh.

These were based on the installation ceilings -- which limit the capacity of projects for each RE technology -- that have been set by the department.

Currently, run-of-river hydro and biomass projects have 250 MW each.

The proposal to increase installation ceilings for certain RE technologies comes in the wake of supply problems during summer due to limited available power generation capacities.

“We are expecting better summer months in 2015 with the new plants that are coming in but I cannot leave that to chance so I want additional solar plants because the profile of solar fits summer,” Mr. Petilla has said.

He noted that while some plants are scheduled to be operational by next year, some delays are still inevitable.

“So while we simulated that we may not have a problem, we just want to make sure that we have enough capacity to accommodate increasing demand. Solar works best during summer, so that’s the most efficient,” he added.

But, Mr. Petilla said the proposal will still be discussed with the NREB and ERC because there could be changes in the FiT rates.

Should the proposal push through, the department will be issuing a resolution to announce such changes. source

Energy firm readies for Indon venture

Business World Online
Posted on May 26, 2014 09:32:39 PM
By Claire-Ann M. C. Feliciano, Senior Reporter

ENERGY DEVELOPMENT Corp. (EDC) is set to enter into a partnership this year for a 220-megawatt (MW) geothermal power project in Indonesia, officials of the Lopez-led firm told reporters yesterday.
Federico R. Lopez, chairman and chief executive officer (CEO) of First Philippine Holdings Corp. (FPH), said EDC is exploring several power projects outside the Philippines.

“We are looking at a number projects in ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations), in particular, I think, geothermal,” Mr. Lopez said on the sidelines of FPH’s annual stockholders’ meeting in Makati City.

Mr. Lopez, who is also EDC’s chairman and CEO, said the power firm -- which is the Philippines’ largest geothermal energy producer -- is banking on its experience and track record to bag projects in neighboring markets.

“In the context of ASEAN, where we would begin through investment in geothermal [projects] in Indonesia, we have a number of opportunities there that we’re pursuing,” said Francis Giles B. Puno, FPH’s chief financial officer.

EDC is a unit of First Gen Corp., which in turn is the energy investment arm of FPH.

Pressed for details, Mr. Puno said a project in Indonesia -- which will involve a geothermal plant with four 55-MW units -- is expected to advance this year.

“We hope by this year we would make some announcements on a joint venture,” said the official, who also sits as First Gen’s president and chief operating officer.

“We hope that by the second half, we can start pursuing more aggressively the opportunities there.”

The 220-MW plant, Mr. Puno said, would entail investment of over $1 billion, including EDC’s share of “around $200 million.”

But Mr. Puno said the company will initially take a minority interest in the project.

“They asked us to operate and maintain the plants, so that’s our advantage. We are looking at a situation where we would have, at first, minority ownership but management control of the investment,” he explained.

“And then, over time, [we will] build that up so that we have majority ownership and also management control.”

The same official said its potential foreign partner has already started drilling in the geothermal concession area.

“Our responsibility is to do further drilling and eventually construct and operate the plants,” Mr. Puno added.

The project is expected to be developed in two phases, with each segment involving two 55-MW power plant units.

MT. APO PROJECTS
In another development, EDC also intends to participate in the selection of the independent power producer administrator (IPPA) for the Mt. Apo 1 and 2 geothermal power plants in Mindanao.

“Yes, we will participate,” said Mr. Puno. “We are the one operating the plant. It makes sense for us to also sell the capacity to the market.”

The Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management Corp. (PSALM) earlier this month invited interested parties to participate in the auction for the plants’ IPPA. The auction has been scheduled for Sept. 24, with a pre-bid conference on June 26.

As IPPA, the winning bidder will be in charge of managing contracted capacities of the power assets, which have a rated capacity of 54.24 MW each.

Located in Kidapawan City, North Cotabato, the power plants were commissioned on Feb. 15, 1997 and June 17, 1999 under a build-operate-and-own contract with EDC.

The cooperation period for both plants is 25 years, which will expire on Feb. 15, 2022 and June 17, 2024, respectively.

EDC last year partnered with Canada-based Alterra Power Corp. for the development of geothermal concessions in Chile and Peru. The firm also teamed up with Australian firm Hot Rock Ltd. (HRL) for various geothermal resource exploration projects, also in Chile and Peru.

EDC currently operates 12 power facilities in five geothermal service contract areas in the country, including the 192.5-MW Palinpinon plant in Negros Oriental and 112.5-MW Tongonan plant.

It is also involved in hydropower generation through First Gen Hydro Corp., which operates the 132-MW Pantabangan-Masiway plant in Nueva Ecija.

The firm is also building a 150-MW wind farm in Burgos, Ilocos Norte -- the 87-MW portion of which is scheduled to be operational late this year, while the remaining 63 MW is expected to start operating in March next year.

Profit of EDC fell 15.36% to P2.524 billion as of end-March from P2.982 billion a year ago. Revenues climbed 2.85% to P7.138 billion from P6.940 billion, while expenses jumped 17.91% to P4.377 billion from P3.712 billion.

Shares of the company gained four centavos or 0.65% to end P6.15 apiece yesterday from P6.11 each on Friday last week. source

‘COAL MINING NOT FOREVER’

Panay News
May 26, 2014
BY FREDA MAE SORSANO

CALUYA Antique – The coal mining plant in Brgy. Semirara is the biggest income-generator of this first-class island town, but Mayor Genevive Lim-Reyes is also banking on its tourism and business potentials.
Last year, Caluya recorded an annual income of P328 million, a number that levels to that of Pavia, Iloilo. Of this, P235 million or 72 percent is from the revenues of the coal mining plant.
However, Reyes does not discount the possibility that Semirara Mining Corp. (SMC) might someday cease to exist.
“That is what we are always thinking about here. What will we do should the coal plant stop earning? We know that coal is not sustainable,” she said during her stint in Panay News’ Reklamo Publiko program on DyOK Aksyon Radyo-Iloilo yesterday. “That’s why I and my people are all for boosting the tourism industry in Caluya.”
Reyes added that the town’s scenic beauty, friendly people and other exotic offerings will be Caluya’s assets in reaching their tourism goals.
“We have beautiful beaches here and we are proud of them,” she said. “We have a lot of things to offer and are lucky to have nice and accommodating people,” said Reyes.
She added that in preparation, the local government is geared towards improving Caluya’s infrastructure as well as providing ease in transportation to and within the municipality.
They are also working on providing sufficient electricity and water for residents and tourists alike.
She said she is following her father’s footsteps – who had preceded her as mayor – in project implementation.
“My father – the late Reynante Lim – started all the improvements here in Caluya. He started the move for ample electricity and water supply. Subong, bastante na sa tubig ang Caluya kag 24/7 na ang kuryente,” she said.
Reyes said they are also adding more activities for the town’s yearly Tatusan Festival – Caluya’s highly-attended event – to further promote the municipality and attract more tourists.
This year is one of the biggest so far, she said, adding that the Search for Miss Caluya held last night was the highlight.
The recently-concluded festivity was also the first to invite national celebrities.
“During the first day, Meg Imperial and Dominic Roque from ABS-CBN’s Moon of Desire were here,” she said.
Tatusan Festival was named after “tatus” (coconut crab). Caluya is one of only two places in the Philippines to have such crab specie. The other one is the province of Batanes.
BUSINESS MATTERS
Most of the Caluya locals have switched to seaweed farming as primary means of livelihood as it is the most practical business here, Reyes said.
According to her, the waters of Caluya are excellent for seaweed farming, and seaweeds are easy to grow.
“Seaweed production time is only three months. Mas dasig ang income sa seaweed farming,” she said.
The seaweeds in Caluya are bigger compared to those in other provinces, shared Reyes. They are exported to other parts of the Philippines, as well as to other countries.
Seaweed is also a flexible product, according to Reyes, since it “can be made into medicine, plastic, shoes, sandals and more. It is also used as an ingredient in spa products.”
She added that women in Caluya had been thoroughly trained in making seaweed chips.
The local government unit is mulling the massive breeding of tatus to augment the town’s livelihood, according to the lady mayor.
She said two people have already expressed interest in starting such business.
“One is from a group which conducted a feasibility study on cultured tatus. The other one is Kapitan Armando Zaccharias of Brgy. Masanag,” she shared.
There are, however, foreseen problems in starting a tatus business, Reyes said, adding that breeding location is one of them.
“Tatus hide in caves,” she said. “It’s their natural habitat. Once brought to another place, they commit ‘suicide.’”
As how, she did not elaborate, but natives in the audience said it’s by starving themselves to death.
She added that coconut crabs are hard to catch, as they only get out of the caves at night to hunt for food. They also do not come out of their habitat during the rainy season.
Fishing and copra are also booming industries in Caluya.
The town is open for the popular private-public partnership in the future.
“Whoever wants to start a project or a business here that would boost tourism, we are willing to accept,” she said.
As of now, SMC is the town’s biggest partner in development, Reyes said.
“SMC helped the local government build the main roads and a bridge. They will also be our main partner in the creation of a pier that would service Caluya’s residents and tourists 24 hours a day, seven days a week.”
The pier would cost approximately P53 million./PN source

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Alsons plans expansion of power capacity

By Iris C. Gonzales (The Philippine Star) | Updated May 24, 2014 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - Alsons Consolidated Resources Inc. (ACR), the energy holding company of the Alcantara Group, said it plans a five-fold expansion of its power generation business in Mindanao.

During the company’s annual stockholders meeting yesterday, ACR chairman and president Tomas Alcantara said the group is eyeing a “five-fold expansion.”

“Our strong commitment to the energy and power business in Mindanao is a carefully calculated strategy that the company has decided to adopt, in recognition of the tremendous opportunities available to those who are both decisive and prepared to act in this market,” Alcantara said.

The company has re-acquired and rehabilitated Mapalad Power Corp. (MPC), which commenced operations in May last year to provide needed power for the 2013 midterm elections.

MPC is now operating at a capacity of 103 megawatts (MW), providing power to Iligan City, Gen. Santos City, Zamboanga City and other key areas of Mindanao, the company said.

Aside from MPC, Alcantara said the company is on track with the construction of Sarangani Energy Corp. 210-MW coal-fired power plant in Maasim, Sarangani province, which is expected to go online in 2015 and provide additional power for Mindanao.

According to the company, the plant would have an initial 105 MW output in 2015 for about 3.47 million people in Sarangani province, Gen. Santos City and key areas in South Cotabato, Compostela Valley, Agusan del Norte, Agusan del Sur and majority of Davao del Norte.

By 2016, the company hopes to reach the Maasim plant’s full potential of 210 MW.

The $570-million plant is the single biggest investment in Sarangani Province and Region 12, Alcantara said.

Furthermore, the company also underscored ACR’s expansion with the development of the 105-MW San Ramon Power Inc. (SRPI) coal-fired plant in Sitio San Ramon, Talisayan in Zamboanga City.

To complete its five-fold expansion, ACR is beefing up its stake in Mindanao by developing a 17-MW hydroelectric plant in Siguil River in Maasim, Sarangani.

“These five projects will complement and not replace the operations of existing power generating projects, namely the Western Mindanao Power Corp. (WMPC) and Southern Philippines Power Corp. (SPPC). These two facilities can still perform in a competitive market and will play a vital role in the company’s operations,” Alcantara said. source

SPC Power drops plan to acquire 3 power barges

By Donnabelle L. Gatdula (The Philippine Star) | Updated May 24, 2014 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - Korea-backed SPC Power Corp. will no longer pursue its plan to purchase the three power barges auctioned off by the state-owned Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management Corp. (PSALM) late last year.

SPC Power is a joint venture between Korea Power Corp. (Kepco) Philippines Inc. (Kephilco) and SPC Power Corp.

According to SPC Power, the power barges have suffered severe damages from Super Typhoon Yolanda which rendered the assets structurally unfit to run.

“This is in connection with the bidding conducted by the PSALM on Oct. 30, 2013 for the sale of the 32 megawatt Power Barge (PB) 101 and 32-MW PB 102 located in Obrero, Iloilo City and 32-MW PB 103 located in Estancia, Iloilo as one package which was won by SPC Island Power Corp. (SIPC), a wholly-owned subsidiary of SPC Power Corp. “SPC Power said in its disclosure to the Philippine Stock Exchange.

“Before closing date and turnover of these PBs to SIPC, however, PB 103 was severely damaged by the strike of Super Typhoon Yolanda on Nov. 8, 2013,” it added.

The power firm said the damage compromised the structural integrity of the generators and auxillaries of the PB 103 and significantly affected the reasons underlying SIPC’s bid for the PBs.

“In view thereof, and inasmuch as the delivery of the PBs to SIPC could not be predicted, SIPC sent PSALM on March 13, 2014 a notice terminating the related asset purchase agreement (APA) citing the clear provisions of Article 4.08 and 12.01 of the APA,” it said.

SPC said PSALM will review the termination notice and will accordingly advise SIPC of its further action or decision on the notice.

As of May 22, 2014, the company said PSALM has not yet informed SIPC of its decision.

“As far as SIPC is concerned, the APA has been effectively terminated,” it said.

Despite dropping its offer to buy the three power barges, SPC Power earlier this week exercised its “right to top” the highest bidder for the 153.1-MW Naga power facility in Cebu.

The company said the move shows its support to the government’s privatization efforts.

SPC made the P1.143-billion payment to PSALM, the government corporation tasked to privatize state-owned power assets.

“With the payment, we expect PSALM to sign and execute, as the counter party, the asset purchase agreement and the land lease agreement attached in the bidding package which SPC had already prescribed,” SPC said in its letter to PSALM.

PSALM president Emmanuel Ledesma Jr. has issued a notice on April 27 that Therma Power Visayas Inc. of the Aboitiz Group is the winning bidder for the Naga facility. source

Sale of 3 power barges canceled

Manila Standard Today
By Alena Mae S. Flores | May. 24, 2014 at 12:01am

SPC Island Power, a unit of SPC Power Corp., has terminated an agreement with the government to purchase Power Barges 101, 102 and 103 following the severe damage suffered by one of the plants during the onslaught of super typhoon Yolanda last year.

SPC said in a disclosure to the Philippine Stock Exchange Friday that the typhoon heavily damaged PB 103 on Nov. 8, 2013 before the closing date and turnover of the barges to SPC Island.

“The damage compromised the structural integrity of the generators and auxillaries of the PB 103 and significantly affected the reasons underlying the SIPC’s bid for the PBs,” SPC said.

PSALM held an auction for the 32-megawatt Power Barge 101 and 32-MW PB 102 moored in Obrero, Iloilo City, and the 32-MW PB 103 in Estancia, Iloilo as one package on Oct. 30, 2013. SPC Island won the bidding.

“Inasmuch as the delivery of the PB’s to SIPC could not be predicted, SIPC sent PSALM on March 13, 2014 a notice terminating the related Asset Purchase Agreement....,” SPC said.

PSALM in its reply letter of March 19, 2014, informed SIPC that it will review the termination notice and will accordingly advise SIPC of its further action or decision on the notice. As of today, May 22, 2014, PSALM has not yet informed SIPC of its decision. As far as SIPC is concerned, the APA has been effectively terminated,” it said.

SPC Island, owned by SPC Power Corp., submitted the highest bid of P545.89 million for Power Barges 101, 102 and 103, besting the offer of Trans-Asia Oil & Energy Corp., which offered P370.52 million.

The power barges were offered in two packages, with the first comprising of the three Iloilo barges (PB 101, 102 and 103), and the second involving PB 104 located at the Holcim compound in Ilang, Davao City.

PSALM declared a failure of bidding for the second package, after the two companies did not meet the reserve requirement, which PSALM did not disclose. SPC Island submitted a bid offer of P45.888 million for PB 104 against Trans-Asia’s P30 million.

PSALM president Emmanuel Ledesma Jr. said the agency would discuss the impact of SPC’s decision and whether the barges could be transferred to Mindanao. source

Friday, May 23, 2014

Power sufficient to cater Mindanao needs in next 6 years

Sunstar Davao
Friday, May 23, 2014

ENERGY Under secretary Raul Aguilos said the power supply in Mindanao from 2015 to 2020 will be enough to address the demands of Mindanaoans.

Aguilos, during the Mindanao Power Stakeholders Meeting on Wednesday at the Marco Polo Hotel Davao, said that by February and March 2015, committed power projects are expected to enter the Mindanao Grid.

Committed power projects that will enter in 2015 are the 300-megawatt (MW) coal-fired power plant of Therma South Inc. in Barangay Binugao, Toril Davao City and Barangay Inawayan, Sta. Cruz, Davao del Sur; Hedcor Sabangan's 13.2 MW hydroelectric power plant project in Davao City; First Gen Mindanao Hydropower Corp.'s 30 MW Puyo Hydroelectric Power Project in Jabonga, Agusan del Norte; Sarangani Energy Corporation's 200 MW Southern Mindanao coal-fired power station in Maasim, Sarangani; Kalilangan Bio-Energy Corporation's 10 MW Kalilangan Bio-Energy Corporation Multi-Feedstock Power Generating Facility in Bukidnon; Don Carlos Bio-Energy Corporation's 10 MW Don Carlos Bio-Energy Corporation Multi Feedstock Power Generating Facility in Bukdinon; Malaybalay Bioenergy Corporation's 10 MW Malaybalay Bio-Energy Corporation Multi Feedstock Power Generating Facility in Bukdinon; and Lamsan Power Corporation's 10 MW LPC Biomass Power Plant Project in Maguindanao.

"Wala na tayong problema by 2015 until 2020, the committed capacity will add up to the existing available capacity," Aguilos said.

However, he said there will be small problems in terms of supply by 2016 to 2019, but he added that these problems will not cause major brownouts or blackouts. (Cathyrine N. Macrojon-UIC Intern) source

Alsons reaffirm power expansion commitment

Business Mirror
23 May 2014 Written by Lenie Lectura

ALSONS Consolidated Resources Inc. (ACR) on Friday said it remains committed to expand its power-generation business in the region.

At the company’s annual stockholders meeting, ACR Chairman and President Tomas I. Alcantara announced the company’s re-acquisition and rehabilitation of Mapalad Power Corp. (MPC), the first of ACR’s expansion efforts.

MPC’s operations commenced in May 2013. It is now operating at a capacity of 103 megawatts (MW), providing power to Iligan City, General Santos City, Zamboanga City and other key areas of Mindanao. Alcantara also cited the ongoing construction of the Sarangani Energy Corp. (SEC)’s 210-MW coal-fired power plant located in Maasim, Sarangani Province.

It is one of only two plants cited by Department of Energy (DoE) Secretary Jericho L. Petilla expected to go online in 2015 that will help provide a sustainable and long-term solution to Mindanao’s power crisis.

The plant will have an initial 105- MW output in 2015 for about 3.47 million people in Sarangani Province, General Santos City and key areas in South Cotabato, Compostela Valley, Agusan del Norte, Agusan del Sur and majority of Davao del Norte.

Part of ACR’s expansion plan includes the Maasim plant reaching its full 210-MW capacity in 2016 that will serve an additional 3.8 million people residing in Cotabato, South Cotabato and Zamboanga del Norte. The $570-million SEC plant is the single biggest investment in Sarangani Province and Region 12.

Alcantara also underscored ACR’s expansion with the development of the 105-MW San Ramon Power Inc. (SRPI) coal-fired plant in Sitio San Ramon, Talisayan in Zamboanga City. The SRPI plant is set to provide baseload power to Zamboanga and other key municipalities in the region.

To complete its five-fold expansion, ACR is beefing up its stake in Mindanao by developing a 17-MW hydroelectric plant in Siguil River at Maasim, Sarangani.

“These five projects will complement and not replace the operations of existing power generating projects, namely the Western Mindanao Power Corp. (WMPC) and Southern Philippines Power Corp. (SPPC). These two facilities can still perform in a competitive market and will play a vital role in the company’s operations,” Alcantara stressed. source

Mindanao power capacity to grow

Business World Online
Posted on May 23, 2014 09:16:12 PM

ALSONS Consolidated Resources, Inc. (ACR) targets to grow its power generation portfolio in Mindanao to 590-megawatts (MW) by 2019, the firm's top official told reporters on Friday.
"Our strong commitment to the energy and power business in Mindanao is a carefully calculated strategy that the company has decided to adopt, in recognition of the tremendous opportunities available to those who are both decisive and prepared to act in this market," Chairman and President Tomas I. Alcantara said after the company's annual stockholders' meeting in Mandarin Oriental.

The official said the Alcantara Group has committed to reach 590-MW capacity by 2019, which is expected to be equivalent to nearly 30% of Mindanao's projected peak demand.

Through Western Mindanao Power Corp. (WMPC) and Southern Philippines Power Corp. (SPPC), the firm operates a 100-MW diesel plant in Zamboanga City and 55-MW diesel plant in Sarangani province, respectively.

To add to its existing portfolio, the company -- through Mapalad Power Corp. -- reacquired and rehabilitated Iligan diesel plant in Lanao del Norte which started contributing 103-MW to the Mindanao grid last year.

Mr. Alcantara also cited ongoing construction of its $570-million, 210-MW coal-fired power plant in Maasim, Sarangani.

"The plant will have an initial 105 MW output in 2015 for about 3.47 million people in Sarangani Province, General Santos City and key areas in South Cotabato, Compostela Valley, Agusan del Norte, Agusan del Sur and majority of Davao del Norte," the official said.

"Part of ACR's expansion plan includes the Maasim plant reaching its full 210 MW capacity in 2016 that will serve an additional 3.8 million people residing in Cotabato, South Cotabato and Zamboanga del Norte," he added.

Furthermore, Mr. Alcantara said that San Ramon Power, Inc. (SRPI) will also push through with its 105-MW coal plant in Talisayan, Zamboanga City.

"The SRPI plant is set to provide baseload power to Zamboanga and other key municipalities in the region," said Mr. Alcantara.

To complete the pipeline of projects, Mr. Alcantara said it will build a 17-MW hydroelectric power plant in Siguil River, also in Sarangani.

"These five projects will complement and not replace the operations of existing power generating projects, namely: the WMPC and SPPC," said Mr. Alcantara.

"These two facilities can still perform in a competitive market and will play a vital role in the company's operations."

Mr. Alcantara said ACR wants to contribute to the economy of Mindanao.

"We have always aspired to be the instrument of progress in the island and we are poised and ready to help Mindanao realize its potential," he said.

ACR -- which serves as the Alcantara Group's holding firm -- saw profits grow 3% to P228.88 million last quarter from P222.94 million in the same period last year. Revenues more than doubled to P1.18 billion from P504.98 million, while expenses more than tripled to P861.34 million from 253.49 million.

Shares of the company closed at P1.81 apiece on Friday, unchanged from Thursday. -- Claire-Ann Marie C. Feliciano source

Green energy, better urban planning urged at WEF

Business World Online
Posted on May 23, 2014 08:13:23 PM
By Bettina Faye V. Roc, Senior Reporter

ADDRESSING climate change risks must be done both from a mitigation and adaptation standpoint, with green energy and more resilient urban planning at the forefront of this agenda, public and private representatives from East Asia said.

During the "Climate-Smart Growth" session on Friday at the World Economic Forum (WEF) on East Asia at the Makati Shangri-La hotel, high-ranking officials from multilateral agencies and industry leaders said that with natural disasters such as typhoon Yolanda (international name: Haiyan) -- which ravaged central Philippines in November last year -- now seen as the "new normal," climate change is becoming an increasingly serious risk to economic growth.

"It is obvious that we will have more severe and more frequent disasters in the region," said Asian Development Bank (ADB) President Takehiko Nakao.

"Fostering growth in this environment will require new approaches to a number of social challenges including energy consumption, urban planning and tourism," Mr. Nakao said.

Atsutoshi Nishida, Chairman of the Board of Toshiba Corp. said the region and the world are faced with the challenge of combining the twin issues of mitigating the impact of climate change and preparing the current environment for a more vulnerable kind of world in the future.

"Greenhouse emissions continue to be high... these have to be reduced dramatically. And the discussion can start after that. It is developed countries that make an objection to this idea. They should be more tolerant and discuss and address this carbon emission issue," Mr. Nishida said.

In the past, climate conversations have been confined to countries' environment ministries and within environmental advocacy groups. However, the effects of an anticipated 3-4 degrees Celsius of global warming are so pervasive that they require a broader governmental, private sector and civil society approach, according to Rachel Kyte, World Bank vice-president and special envoy for climate change.

"What we're desperate to do is to bring the conversation out of the ministries of environment alone and put it on the table of the ministry of finance, planning, development, and beyond," said Ms. Kyte.

"Every economy and aspect of life will be more complicated than how it is now... If we believe the science, for all of the current cities now and of the future, they will be more vulnerable to extreme weather events."

Panelists noted that one of the unique challenges for Southeast Asia is the concentration of urban populations along coastlines. Cities such as Manila, Bangkok and Jakarta are the engines of growth for their nations, but they are particularly vulnerable to extreme weather events, ADB's Mr. Nakao noted.

The World Bank's Ms. Kyte said that with climate change a looming threat, if it is not addressed properly, economic growth in the region will be constrained.

"Jobs will be constrained. Shared prosperity... we don't think that's possible without any action to address climate change," Ms. Kyte noted.

In order to promote economic growth with these climate-related challenges, the region needs new approaches to energy policies and consumption, said Kim Dong Kwan, Managing Director of South Korea's Hanwha Group.

"Green energy is really starting to make economic sense. While climate change is a very moral issue, it's also a very economic issue... And note that these investments are long-term. Investing in these kinds of technology now makes a lot of sense when faced with such a future," said Mr. Kim.

"Countries put in highways, roads to stimulate the automotive industry. It's time to look at smart grids or financing mechanisms for these kinds of sustainable energy systems."

The push towards more climate-smart growth, said the World Bank's Ms. Kyte, could also be addressed by putting a price tag on these risks or factors that contribute to this problem.

"You have to set the premise that climate change will make it more difficult for everyone to achieve things. Carbon, for example -- you need to take it as a global bad instead of a global good. Put a tax on it," she said.

"Price carbon and stop subsidizing what you don't want. And then, start using that financing to intensify growth where you do want it," Hanwha's Mr. Kim noted. "Climate-smart means thinking through the impact of these carbon emissions, and the importance of resilience in every aspect of the economy."

"There is also a tremendous role for the private sector both in lobbying governments and in advancing new, climate-smart business models. The pressure and the change are within the investor and within the private sector," said Yolanda Kakabadse, president of the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) International.

ADB's Mr. Nakao said that the participation of the private sector is especially important in terms of financing.

"These are investments... and we should have a more collective international actions. We also need policies at the government level. Innovation is important," he noted.

The ADB chief elaborated at the sidelines of the forum: "The government's role is important because the environment and climate change is an externality or a market failure issue, which means that [the] private sector doesn't invest in climate change or the environment. This side is guided by government policies."

Mr. Nakao said that such policies should involve strict regulations and taxation systems designed to curb carbon emissions produced by different industries.

Energy consumption and generation, Toshiba's Mr. Nishida added, also play a great part in the climate change discussion.

"Find out the best energy mix for each country... Utilize resources to make sure energy generation is more efficient. Because energy and climate change are part of a cycle," Mr. Nishida said.

Technological innovation in energy storage is one area where businesses can play a major role, he said.

Mr. Nakao also noted, however, that breakthroughs in green energy technology will not be enough to mitigate the effects of existing climate change.

"Micro-insurance, efficient urban transport and innovations in disaster-resilient construction techniques are areas in which businesses can play a leading role in improving the region's ability to weather the adverse effects of climate change and take advantage of climate-smart opportunities," he said.

"Many countries in Asia are keen to learn and adopt the best practices in environment and climate change... but most still want to grow further and reduce poverty. They can grow fast and grow smart together, but there is a certain dilemma."

"Combining these ideas together would need the help of the international community as a whole. Sometimes developing countries will have a harder time of adapting... but support is important," the ADB president said. -- with AMM source