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Economists nix higher RE installation targets

Donnabelle L. Gatdula (The Philippine Star) - August 12, 2013 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - The Foundation for Economic Freedom Inc. (FEFI), a public advocacy group composed of prominent economists and financial experts, is strongly opposing plans to hike the installation targets for renewable energy (RE), warning that this could result in higher electricity rates.

“We, the FEFI, would like to state our firm opposition to any planned increase in installation targets for RE for the purpose of increasing the number of those qualified to receive subsidy by way of FIT (feed-in-tariff),” FEFI president Calixto Chikiamco said in a letter to Secretary Carlos Jericho Petilla.

FIT is a guarantee for the investments made by renewable energy firms. It assigns fixed rates that could be collected from consumers over a period of 20 years.

Regulators impose an installation target on RE utilization to balance power generation mix in the grid. Since RE is quite expensive, the Department of Energy (DOE) does not want to put pressure on power rates if they would allow more RE in the grid.

But Chikiamco said they believe raising the RE installations targets may greatly burden electricity consumers.

“We believe that any increase in installation targets would further increase the burden on Filipino electricity consumers who must pay for the subsidy by the way of FIT allowance (FIT All),” he said.

The group said the government should also consult all affected sectors.

“Such increases must undergo extensive public hearings because these affect the rates that the public must pay,” he said.

BUT CHIKIAMCO CALIXTO CHIKIAMCO CONSUMERS DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY ECONOMIC FREEDOM INC FIT INSTALLATION RATES SECRETARY CARLOS JERICHO PETILLA TARGETS
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