Our intention has always been to develop clean indigenous-sourced energy, with maximum economic benefits and minimum detrimental impacts for our country. This has led First Gen to focus on natural gas, and extend this thinking towards RE. In the context of RE, it takes longer to develop geothermal and hydro. However, both when properly built, can last for several decades. Solar will be a more important source of electricity in the immediate future, as it is faster to build, operate, and maintain. Another advantage is that the costs of installing solar panels and batteries continue to fall. Be assured that we will continue to leverage on these technological advancements.
The bottom line is we are strategically well-positioned today because we have a diversified portfolio and newly installed capacity that meets the specific needs of the growing Philippine economy. Our main advantage as a company is that we have baseload operations from natural gas power plants and geothermal power plants. Our natural gas plants are clean and are flexible enough to quickly respond to power demands at the time they are most needed. Geothermal, on the other hand, is the only source of energy that is predictable, baseload, and renewable. The rest of our portfolio is composed of hydro, wind, and solar which offer carbon-free solutions to areas most in need. Together, our portfolio is made up of complementary platforms that help address energy security with minimized impact to the environment.
SUSTAINABILITY AND SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY
First Gen aims to be a good corporate citizen by keeping a close watch on the impact of its operations on society and the environment. At 3,471-MW installed capacity, we generate carbon emissions that are equivalent to those emitted from just one 750-MW conventional coal-fired power plant. This year, First Gen intends to release its second sustainability report to show its commitment to responsible operations.
We are seeing a gradual realization and acknowledgment of the urgent need to change the way we do business. Companies like Unilever, IKEA, Apple, Google, BMW, Facebook, and Nike, have banded together as the “RE100” to commit to becoming “100% renewable.” Other companies are following suit. More and more investors are explicitly saying that they will no longer finance companies that have legacy investments in coal. This is excellent for First Gen and we are already feelings its effects. This year alone, we were able to sign up nine new customers who expressly indicated that they chose to do business with us because they preferred to utilize clean energy. Among them are RFM Corporation, Central Luzon State University, Specialty Pulp Manufacturing, Inc., Hoc Po Feeds Corporation, Green Era Bio-Tech Corporation, Analog Devices, Unilever Philippines, Inc., De La Salle University Dasmarinas, and De La Salle Health Sciences Institute.