DOE updates renewable energy targets

Danessa Rivera - The Philippine Star
DOE updates renewable energy targets
National Renewable Energy Board (NREB) chairman Monalisa Dimalanta said they are assisting the DOE in updating the National Renewable Energy Program (NREP) which started implementation in 2011.

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Energy (DOE) is updating the country’s renewable energy (RE) targets as capacity fell short of goals set 10 years after the Renewable Energy Act was enacted.

National Renewable Energy Board (NREB) chairman Monalisa Dimalanta said they are assisting the DOE in updating the National Renewable Energy Program (NREP) which started implementation in 2011.

NREB is the advisory body tasked with the effective implementation of RE projects in the country.

“It has not been updated. We’re due for an update… We’re targeting updated program by October,” Dimalanta said.

To recall, President Duterte had issued a directive to reduce the country’s dependence on coal for power generation with more gas and renewables during his latest State of the Nation Address (SONA).

Under NREP 2011 to 2030, the DOE is targeting to triple the existing renewable capacity of 5,438 MW in 2010 to 15,304 MW by 2030.

However, the capacity addition was slow and only 7,000 MW were added until 2017, DOE-Renewable Energy Management Bureau (REMB) director Mylene Capongcol said.

“When we assessed the NREP and implementation, there were delays in issuances of development of support mechanism, like Renewable Portfolio Standards (RPS) on-grid and off-grid, Green Energy Option Program (GEOP) and the RE market,” she said.

Moreover, installed capacity of RE was at 30 percent,but power generated was only at 24 percent of the total.

“Instead of increasing the share of RE in the supply mix, we’re reducing. But there are a lot of factors that explain that, it’s not just because over we’re using less RE. There are a lot more plants that were built that were using non-RE. The pie got bigger with the share of non-RE getting bigger. For RE, the increase was not proportional,” Dimalanta said.

In updating the NREP, the DOE is focusing on RE’s share in the total generation of power plants instead of the capacity until 2040.

“The target is not on capacity, but to increase the share in generation. That’s why we’re pushing all the issues policy developments support like GEOP, RPS. It will be enforced starting 2020,” Capongcol said.

“But we’re still not firm yet (on the targets). We’re still studying all the existing project in the pipeline, their status, service contracts, and, of course, the power market itself because RE capacities are sold directly to power supply. But our next target from 2019 to 2040 is 20 gigawatts (GW),” she said.

NREB expects to speed up the country’s development of RE projects with the full implementation of RPS next year.

“The share of RE will increase, that’s really the point of RPS. The minimum percentage was aimed at getting us back to 30 percent and that’s just under RPS. Hopefully, we will get to exceed that target,” Dimalanta said.

RPS mandates power industry players to produce and source a certain percentage of electricity from RE sources such as biomass, waste-to-energy technology, wind energy, solar energy, run-of-river hydroelectric power systems, impounding hydroelectric power systems, ocean energy, and geothermal energy.

Another policy support under the law is the GEOP, which is a mechanism where electricity end-users are given the option to choose RE as their preferred source of energy.

The DOE has issued the rules for RPS On-Grid and Off-Grid, and the GEOP to promote reliable and sustainable RE resources as mandated by law.

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