By Cesar G. Romero, Country Chairman of Shell Companies in the Philippines
By Cesar G. Romero, Country Chairman of Shell Companies in the Philippines

Some 176 countries, including the Philippines, have ratified and signed the Paris Agreement which commits them to limit the global rise in temperatures to well below two degrees Celsius (2°C) above pre-industrial levels, and to strive for a limit of 1.5 degrees Celsius.

Shell supports this commitment to reduce global warming by reducing the Net Carbon Footprint of our energy products by around half by the middle of the century. This means reducing emissions from our own operations, and changing the mix of products we sell to our customers.

In the Philippines, we support Government’s pledge to achieve a 70 percent cut in carbon emissions by 2030 to be taken from the energy, transport, waste, forestry and industry sectors.

Energy Transition

The pledge is seen as ambitious given that coal-fired power plants continue to account for a significant share in the Philippines’ energy mix. As of end-2017, the Philippines had a total installed capacity of 22,728 MW, of which coal has remained the dominant energy source with 8,049 MW (35.4%), followed closely by renewable energy (RE) sources at 7,079 MW (31.1%), oil-based energy sources at 4,153 MW (18.3%) and natural gas at 3,447 MW (15.2%).
However, there are plans to increase RE capacity to 15,304 megawatts by the year 2030 under the National Renewable Energy Program.

One thing is apparent – the energy transition will require unprecedented collaboration between governments, companies and society.

Different solutions

Solutions will vary by economic sector. Those that require low temperature processes and mechanical activities can be powered by low and zero carbon sources of power, including renewable energy. However, iron, steel, cement, plastic and chemical industries, and certain types of transport, currently rely on the unique ability of hydrocarbons to provide extremely high temperatures, chemical reactions or dense energy storage.

Geography is also a factor. Different countries have different needs depending on local circumstances: their development priorities, types of economy, domestic energy resources, ability to invest and national energy policies.

We foresee that the transformation of the energy system will move at different paces and produce different outcomes and different energy mixes in different sectors and countries. It will require trade-offs by energy consumers, companies and governments. It will require willingness to make hard choices.

Low-carbon future

Shell is committed to do its part in working towards a low-carbon future. The Shell group of companies continues to push for the use of Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) and renewables in areas where it is present to create lower carbon opportunity.

In the Philippines, Shell is in continuous discussions with Government on LNG development. The company is also talking with prospective Filipino partners on its planned venture into renewable energy.

Since January 2016, all Shell diesel and gasoline fuels in the Philippines have been Euro IV (PH) - compliant, as per Philippine National Standards specifications. The fuels have a Sulphur content of 50 parts per million (ppm), from the 500 ppm under the previous Euro 2 standard. Benzene content of gasoline is also reduced from 5 percent to 1 percent.

We constantly innovate on our fuels in response to changing consumer needs and preferences, and to evolving vehicle engine technologies. In June 2017 for example, we introduced Shell V-Power Diesel with DYNAFLEX Technology, which effectively restores up to 100 percent of engine performance.

As part of the global transition into new energies, we have also successfully completed solar installations in 15 of our retail stations to date, and we plan to add more.

Also last year, we partnered with QEV Philippines Electromobility Solutions and Consulting Group, Inc., to put up electric vehicle (EV) fast-charging posts in an initial 100 of its 1,044 retail stations.

Powering communities

As we continuously study and understand the value of technology in sustainability and renewable energy sources, Shell continues to collaborate with local communities and NGOs to transition to efficient sources.
Efforts include the introduction of viable grid systems to provide power in areas around the island of Palawan. We’ve also partnered with Liter of Light, a movement that encourages people across the country to reduce waste and carbon emissions by donating PET bottles that will be converted to light sources, illuminating the homes of many small Filipino communities.
To further push our cause for cleaner fuels, and sustainable and smarter solutions, we engage people through advocacies like the Shell Eco-Marathon, a platform for students and young engineers to hone their skills in designing, building, and driving energy-efficient cars.
Creating a sustainable world is not the job of one company or of one network. Shell will continue to work with businesses, governments, and civil society to serve its fuel and energy needs while ever mindful of our greater responsibility to society and the planet. This is how we Make the Future.