Swedish and Filipino alliance at the forefront of energy efficiency
(PE2 Note: PE2 supported the Embassy of Sweden in Manila and its trade and investment council Business Sweden for its energy efficiency event held on 6 June 2023. PE2 members ABB, Atlas Copco, Pi Energy and Climargy were part of the program.)
Recognizing the role of energy efficiency in the fight against climate change, Business Sweden and the Embassy of Sweden in Manila held the “Pioneering the Green Transition” – a forum focused on energy efficiency and its applications in carbon-heavy sectors such as energy, infrastructure, and heavy industry.
The forum saw Swedish and Filipino companies’ commitment to green sustainable development through innovations in energy efficiency, or eliminating energy waste in transportation and commercial and consumer processes thereby reducing fuel or coal emissions.
Swedish energy companies ABB and Hitachi Energy and industrial solutions company Atlas Copco presented innovations and technological solutions that allow for smarter and more efficient energy use.
ABB and Hitachi Energy offer a range of smart grid and transmission solutions, including low-voltage and high-voltage direct current systems (LVDC and HVDC). These systems can transmit enormous amounts of electricity over long distances with minimal losses, making them a key technology for integrating renewable energy into the grid.
Atlas Copco, a world leader in industrial solutions and technology, offers compressed air solutions using advanced technologies to reduce energy consumption and decrease operating costs. They also provide monitoring and control solutions that help customers optimize energy consumption.
“Pioneering the Green Transition” also highlighted the green alliance, or joint commitment towards a sustainable and energy-efficient future, between Sweden and the Philippines.
Department of Energy Secretary Raphael Lotilla expressed the Philippine government’s commitment to a just and green transition. “[The] green transition for a developing country like the Philippines must be a just transition. It must be a fair transition, and therefore we must avoid the burden of transferring climate transition to an already overburdened Philippine population.” He added that the government intends for the growth in power demand to be met by renewable and cleaner sources of energy.
The Philippine energy sector was well represented in a panel discussion on energy efficiency, demand, and supply. Alexander Ablaza, the President of the Philippine Energy Efficiency Alliance and CEO of investment and development company Climargy, Inc. moderated the forum. Panelists included Ariel Villaseñor, Vice President of First Gen; Roel Castro, President & CEO of MORE Power; Abigail Bonita, AVP Sustainability of SM Prime; and Fernando Roxas, President & CEO of Napocor.
The panel featured perspectives from across the supply chain, with each representative contributing unique insights. Roxas and Castro spoke about the challenges of delivering an efficient and sustainable supply of power to communities, from the need to tap renewable sources for off-grid and rural areas to the investments needed to upgrade utility infrastructure. All panelists agreed that energy efficiency is a journey, with Bonita emphasizing SM Prime’s commitment to reach net zero by 2040 through initiatives both to reduce its carbon footprint and to conserve natural carbon sinks. Finally, both Villaseñor and moderator Ablaza highlighted the need to increase energy efficiency awareness in the Philippines, and transition consumers and industries from compliance to active commitment.
Reflecting on the two countries’ shared commitment to a more sustainable future, Trade Commissioner Kristina Elinder-Liljas said, ‘We are very enthusiastic to see such a high level of engagement from a range of stakeholders from both the Philippines and Sweden. This is a solid foundation for us to continue our collaboration for a green transition.’
Ambassador Annika Thunborg emphasized the importance of a joint effort between the Swedish and Filipino governments and private sector in achieving sustainable development and contributing to the climate goals. She cited that this spirit of collaboration is the key to the socio-economic, democratic, and environmental success of Sweden which in the 19th century belonged to the poor corner of Europe.
“We believe that a Philippine-Swedish partnership can be a catalyst for positive change in the energy sector in the Philippines. Together, we can build a more sustainable and energy-efficient future,” said Ambassador Thunborg.