by Lenie Lectura, January 20, 2015
The Department of Energy (DOE) has endorsed to the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) several renewable-energy (RE) projects for approval.
The agency, in a statement issued on Tuesday, said it has already issued certificates of endorsement to five biomass, three hydro, two solar and four wind projects, with a total feed-in-tariff (FIT) capacity of 304.051 megawatts (MW).
To promote the use of RE on a larger scale and to attract new investments for RE facilities, the government is banking on the FIT system.
The FIT is a premium rate paid for electricity fed into the power grid from a designated RE generation source, like solar-energy system and wind power plant.
The DOE said it will continue to monitor the FIT applications alongside its campaign for sustainable development. Energy Secretary Carlos Jericho L. Petilla continues to encourage industry players to invest more in RE. He said his office has been vigorously increasing the list of issuances for the COE to the ERC.
Petilla said this trend reflects the behavior of the energy sector, and the entrance of new technologies, which simplify the construction of RE facilities. The milestone approach, which accelerated the application processes from 100 days down to nearly 45 days, also contributed to the active participation of the private sector in developing potential RE areas in the country.
Meanwhile, the National Renewable Energy Board (NREB) urged the government to avail itself of the policies, mechanisms and incentives provided under the Renewable Energy Act of 2008 (Republic Act 9513) to beef up the power supply in the next two years. “The NREB says RE is the best option. Given the need to address the immediate requirement for new power capacity, several RE solutions may provide such capacity within 1- to 2-year time frame,” said Techie Capellan, president of the Philippine Solar Alliance, in a recent interview with the BusinessMirror.
Capellan said RE can be deployed faster, citing San Carlos Solar Energy Inc. in San Carlos City, Negros Occidental, which was completed in less than 12 months.
“Solar-energy and wind-energy farms are the fastest to build, with full construction schedules within a year,” Capellan added. Meanwhile, Capellan said the 40-MW solar power plant of Majestics Energy Corp. in Cavite City was completed several months ago and, when connected to the grid, would immediately augment the power supply in Luzon. (With Rizal Raoul Reyes)(With Rizal Raoul Reyes)