We are now facing a global energy crisis, and the tight power supply situation triggered an urgent need for secure, reliable and affordable electricity supply. The world needs to accelerate the energy transition, and we believe that this is an opportune time for our renewables growth and help address the capacity challenges we are facing today.
In 2022, ACEN’s generation portfolio has grown to ~4,030 MW of net attributable capacity, with 98% coming from renewable technologies across the Asia Pacific.
In August, we announced our ambitious goal, ACEN 2030, which is our vision to reach 20 GW of renewables capacity by 2030. This aggressive goal is well aligned with our decarbonization strategy to become a Net Zero company by 2050.
We have made strategic progress on our commitment to achieve Net Zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. We have completed our near-term and forward looking targets aligned with climate-science 1.5°C pathway. The entire organization and the board fully support the recently announced roadmap.
Together with the Ayala group, we engaged global climate solutions provider, South Pole, in the quantification of our GHG footprint and the development of a robust Net Zero roadmap. The roadmap involves the transition of our generation portfolio to 100% renewable energy by 2025 and the early retirement of the SLTEC coal plant by 2040.
In December 2022, we completed the review of our scope 1 and 2 GHG reporting, screened all our 15 scope 3 emission categories, and developed a full GHG emissions inventory, including emissions from own generating assets, retail activity and joint ventures. Further, we started the process for identifying emission reduction opportunities to form part of our strategic initiatives.
Accelerating further our Net Zero aims, in November 2022, we completed the full divestment of the South Luzon Thermal Energy Corporation coal plant using the Energy Transition Mechanism (ETM) framework, the first market-based implementation in the world. This landmark transaction will enable the early retirement of the 246 MW SLTEC coal plant in Batangas, Philippines.
Under the structure, the coal plant will be retired by 2040 and transitioned to a clean technology, thereby reducing its operating life of up to 50 years by half. This will help avoid or reduce up to 50 million metric tons of carbon emissions. The transaction generated ₱7.2 billion in proceeds for ACEN, which will be reinvested into renewable energy projects.
Through several well-received debt capital market issuances, we remain to be one of the Philippines’ largest issuers of green bonds, contributing to the country’s sustainable financing achievements. With ACEIC, we raised an aggregate of US$ 1.6 billion green bonds since 2019 to support the financing for renewable energy investments and projects.
Most recently, in September 2022, we raised ₱10 billion from our maiden peso ASEAN fixed rate green bonds issuance, which will be used to finance the company’s newest projects in Luzon. In January 2023, we secured our AU$600 million debt financing target to be used in the development of existing and additional pipeline of renewable energy projects in Australia.
Since 2021, ACEN has been a supporter of the Task Force for Climate-Related Financial Disclosures (TCFD), established by the Financial Stability Board to develop voluntary, consistent, climate-related financial disclosures to improve transparency on climate risks and opportunities. These disclosures revolve around four thematic areas: governance, strategy, risk management, and metrics and targets.
We recognize that in order to effectively address the impact of climate change, it is imperative that we gain a better understanding of our exposure and the financial implications of climate-related risks and opportunities to our business. This would allow us to better integrate climate-related factors
into our risk management, strategic planning, capital allocation, and overall decision-making processes.
Read more about our strategy and risk management aligned with TCFD
With ACEN’s rapid solar energy scale-up comes the inherent challenge of voluminous plastic waste from the protective packaging of the solar panels delivered to the project site. Normally, these plastic waste products would be hauled by a contractor to nearby landfills, thereby compounding nonbiodegradable environmental waste. We sought to address the issue by laying the foundation for an ESG-focused ecosystem within its renewable energy plants – one that is anchored on circularity to “eliminate, circulate and regenerate”.
We saw an opportunity to integrate circularity principles to help address marine plastic waste (MPW) in the Philippines while creating shared value with communities through creating green jobs, supporting small-to-medium size enterprises, and promoting climate-resilient strategies.
To drive the company in the direction of circularity in disposing plastic waste, we became the first renewable energy company in the Philippines to implement an integrated circular approach within its developments, engaging with multiple stakeholders across various phases of its value chain – from the plant’s development stage to its commercial operations.
We identified key partners who can apply circularity principles, bring in the technology and equipment, and provide the skills and technical know-how in upcycling plastic waste. Innovative solutions provider, Green Antz, became the perfect conduit for circular approach in our power plants through their eco-products technology which can upcycle plastic waste into formidable eco-bricks that are five times stronger than traditional concrete hollow blocks.1
With a sustainability mindset, our Development team reframed their workstreams on plant waste management to ensure proper collection of plastic waste within the plant facility. We also moved a step further by integrating into partners’ contracts the adherence to the circularity framework as a requirement, thereby creating bigger ripples of sustainability.
We have replicated this plastic waste diversion approach in three other large-scale renewable energy developments, Palauig Solar and SanMar Solar in Zambales, and Pagudpud Wind in Ilocos Norte, by embedding the circularity framework as part of our Engineering, Procurement, and Construction (EPC) contracts.
To date, ~42,000 kg of plastic waste collected from our Alaminos and San Marcelino solar plants in Laguna were already converted into ~ 309,0002 eco-products, with the equivalent weight of 33 compact size cars. We were able to integrate ~60,500 eco-products that were used in the construction of our solar and wind farm facilities. Such efforts helped limit the amount of plastic waste sent to landfills. These eco-products were used to build substation perimeter walls, control buildings, and other infrastructure projects within wind and solar plants in Ilocos, Zambales, and helped save an estimated 10-20%3 savings on construction cost.
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