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DOE reviews proposal to hike RE capacity

Danessa Rivera - The Philippine Star
DOE reviews proposal to hike RE capacity
Earlier, AC Energy Inc. president and CEO Eric Francia also said the government must eventually raise the RPS target from just one percent to be able to meet the 35 percent RE share in 10 years.
STAR / File

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Energy (DOE) is reviewing a proposal to increase renewable energy (RE) installations under the Renewable Portfolio Standards (RPS) policy to meet the RE targets.

“We’re still studying the increase percentage as proposed by National Renewable Energy Board (NREB),” DOE assistant secretary Redentor Delola said.

NREB, the advisory board tasked with the effective implementation of RE projects in the country, said the one percent annual increment in RE installations under the RPS would not be enough to reach RE targets.

RPS is a market-based policy that requires power distribution utilities (DUs), electric cooperatives, and retail electricity supplies (RES) to source an agreed portion of their energy supply from eligible renewable energy RE facilities.

It is among the measures under the Renewable Energy (RE) Act of 2008 to raise the renewable energy production and meet renewables targets. The country is targeting a 35 percent RE share in the power generation mix by 2030.

As of end-2019, renewables had a share of 28 percent in the country’s energy mix.

To reach the 2030 target, NREB is proposing an increase from one percent to 2.52 percent after 2022. The RPS level is currently set at one percent until 2022.

“They’re saying the one increment will not be able to reach the 35 percent target. So, we’re looking at the figures right now. As it stands, we’re still at the one percent increment annually because there’s no approval from the secretary to increase it to a higher percentage,” Delola said.

Earlier, AC Energy Inc. president and CEO Eric Francia also said the government must eventually raise the RPS target from just one percent to be able to meet the 35 percent RE share in 10 years.

“My hope is that over time, the government will increase that. At the current level of RPS which is at one percent annual increment, we will not get to the 35 percent share of RE output by 2030. We are currently at 21 percent,” he said.

“If we are serious to be at 35 percent, we agree with NREB that the one percent increment must go up to 2.5 percent by 2023 or 2024,” Francia said.

But DOE Secretary Alfonso Cusi said there are a number of applications filed with the agency to put up RE projects that will help the country speed up RE development.

“Apart from the 2,000 megawatts (MW) auction, RPS of one percent every year, there are other applications. I think there’s 8,500 MW of solar, wind, battery for competitive selection process (CSP) that is being processed now. That is not included in the auction, even not included in one percent of RPS. There are other RE increments that are being applied at the Renewable Energy Management Bureau (REMB),” he said.

He was referring to the green energy auction, set under the green energy tariff program policy, which will facilitate supply contracting by qualified suppliers with eligible customers under a competitive process.

The policy also lays down the green energy tariff which would “provide price signals on the commercial value of electricity generated from RE facilities,” which would be the basis of a benchmark rate for RE in the country.

The DOE has set the green energy auction for 2,000 MW in June 2021.

Currently, DOE Undersecretary Felix William Fuentebella said the REMB is finalizing the terms of reference (TOR) for the country’s first green energy auction.

Initially set at 2,000 MW, the DOE chief said the agency would definitely auction more RE capacity after the first round.

“We are prepared to increase. But rather than saying how much we’re going to increase it, let’s see first the output of the auction,” Cusi said.

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