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Government urged to revise green energy option

Danessa Rivera - The Philippine Star
Government urged to revise green energy option
In a webinar on Thurday, Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities (ICSC) energy transition advisor Alberto Dalusung III said there is a need to take another look at the GEOP rules to enable more deployment.

MANILA, Philippines — The government must revise some requirements under the Green Energy Option Program (GEOP) to spur more renewable energy (RE) developments, according to a Manila-based climate and energy policy think tank.

In a webinar on Thurday, Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities (ICSC) energy transition advisor Alberto Dalusung III said there is a need to take another look at the GEOP rules to enable more deployment.

The GEOP is a voluntary mechanism under the RE Act of 2008 which allows electricity end-users with an average of 100 kW and above demand to choose RE as their source of energy.

In order to have more RE developers serving the requirements of volunteer end-users, Dalusung said the requirement to have a retail electricity supply license should be removed.

“RE has already been fully vetted, subject to a lot of scrutiny. If you are an RE developer in the Philippines, why couldn’t you sell direct under the green energy option when you’ve been fully vetted by the Department of Energy (DOE),” he said.

Under the GEOP operating permit guidelines issued by the DOE, RE developers need to apply for a GEOP operating permit as an RE supplier under the mechanism.

Dalusung said the government should consider removing the provision of replacement power in the GEOP supply contract.

“Number two, there is a requirement that if you will opt to be part of GEOP, that you replace everything you buy from the DU with a renewable energy supply. But we know that the least cost is never a single supplier. It’s always a portfolio. So, it’s not an ideal situation. I want to go renewables but you want me to sign with one supplier,” he said.

“And not only that, point three you need to have a requirement for replacement power. In other words, I need to have basically two contracts. One for my supply, another for my replacement power which also has to be RE. I think this loads a lot of things on the transaction when it could have been a lot simpler,” Dalusung said.

Under the GEOP supply contract, replacement power should be delivered to the end-user whenever the contracted RE supply is not available due to scheduled preventive maintenance services or whenever needed to address the variability on an RE technology.

Apart from revising some provisions under GEOP, the ICSC official also stressed the need to improve grid infrastructure to enable more RE generation.

“It’s already there, in the Transmission Development Plan (TDP). It’s just delayed. We just need to hasten implementation. I see very good things in the latest TDP of the National Grid [Corp. of the Philippines (NGCP)],” Dalusung said.

The TDP outlines NGCP’s plans to expand, develop and monitor the grid throughout the country.

Under TDP 2021-2040, NGCP is tasked to implement the stage-by-stage grid looping configurations for resiliency and reliability, implement additional submarine cable links between islands to allow power exchange, and implement new substations and capacity expansion of existing substations to ensure the adequacy and reliability of supply for the continuously increasing demand.

On top of transmission development, Dalusung also said power procurement of distribution utilities (DUs) should be improved while there should be a risk-sharing mechanism especially during disruptive events.

RENEWABLE ENERGY
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