Dubai, December 5, 2023 – ACEN announced the launch of its Just Energy Transition (JET) Roadmap for the 246 MW South Luzon Thermal Energy Corporation (SLTEC) coal-fired power plant at the 2023 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Dubai, UAE. The initiative builds on the momentum generated by ACEN’s Energy Transition Mechanism (ETM), the world’s first and only market-based transaction to successfully program the early retirement of a coal-fired power plant.
ACEN is a publicly listed company with operations across several countries including in the Philippines, Indonesia, Vietnam, Laos, India, Australia, and the United States. The company has previously committed to achieving net zero by 2050 and 100% renewable generation by 2025.
ACEN’s JET Roadmap is being developed in partnership with the Coal Asset Transition Accelerator (CATA)—a global platform empowering coal asset owners, alongside government financiers, and local stakeholders, to put in place financial mechanisms that will support the acceleration of the transition away from coal in a just and inclusive way. CATA’s core partners are Climate Smart Ventures (CSV), Carbon Trust, and Rocky Mountain Institute, and is supported by the European Climate Foundation, Growald Climate Fund, and IKEA Foundation.
In his presentation during the launch, Eric Francia, ACEN’s CEO, unveiled six priority areas for the implementation of its JET: 1) clean energy replacement; 2) power plant decommissioning; 3) asset repurposing; 4) community transition; 5) worker reskilling and redeployment; and 6) cascading learnings and continuous improvement.
“While the planned coal-to-clean transition for SLTEC is scheduled more than a decade from now, it is never too early to develop a long-term roadmap. This will ensure that the transition is carried out in a just, thorough and proactive manner. We are thankful for the partnership with CATA and CSV on this pioneering Just Energy Transition initiative, and more than happy to share learnings with the broader industry,” said Francia.
Lawrence Ang, Managing Partner of Climate Smart Ventures, lauded the program: “With the launch of its Just Energy Transition Roadmap, ACEN has yet again produced a ‘world’s first’ by being the first private power company in Asia to clearly articulate its plans for holistically addressing the future of a coal-fired power plant set for early decommissioning. CSV, and our partners at CATA, are proud to partner with ACEN to champion innovative models for repurposing coal-fired power assets and delivering replacement clean energy suited for challenging grid situations common in emerging markets, while ensuring programs are put in place for meaningfully transitioning workers and communities through redeployment, reskilling and upskilling.”
The event also provided an update on the various activities undertaken by CATA to support asset owners to transition from coal to clean. “To date, CATA has initiated six technical assistance projects across multiple countries. As the global community rushes to meet its climate commitments under the Paris Agreement, we must ensure that the affected stakeholders in the transition out of coal are not left behind. CATA’s partnership with ACEN will hopefully encourage other power portfolio owners with a blueprint they can emulate for their coal-to-clean journey,” said Rebecca Collyer, Executive Director at the European Climate Foundation. She also underscored the challenge that confronts the community, “ [ ] the question before us is how the private sector [ ], development financiers, and others equitably transition the assets they have in a way that works for them, their workforce, and also for their bottom line.”
Key learnings from the CATA technical assistance programs were also shared by Chris Stephens, Asia Director of Carbon Trust, who emphasized the importance of scoping the barriers that slow down movements towards coal being used in a just manner, designing the corresponding financial mechanisms that deliver the most effective solutions, and deploying the results of these phases to ensure sustained action towards a just energy transition.
The CEO of Growald Climate Fund, Joanna Messing, underscored the potential of the Roadmap to be a replicable model for other asset owners seeking to transition their coal assets: “This partnership with ACEN in the development of the JET demonstrates the potential for coal assets to be transitioned in a way that benefits people and the planet. We are proud to support CATA to demonstrate that this is the first of many, and that there are multiple viable pathways to transition assets from coal to clean in ways that support communities, environment and economic needs.”
Maria Bezerra, Chief Programmes Officer of Ikea Foundation, also emphasized the need for effective engagement with stakeholders during the transition: “The IKEA Foundation is delighted that ACEN has chosen to develop its JET Roadmap in partnership with CATA. Workers and communities must be at the heart of the energy transition if it is to be a just, equitable, and sustainable process. ACEN’s partnership with CATA can serve as a model for how CATA can support plant owners and financiers in their journey to transition toward renewables. This includes ensuring a diverse set of voices and interests are included in the energy transition.”