DOE wants further improvements in ‘green energy’ option rules

By Myrna M. Velasco – September 13, 2017, 10:00 PM

from Manila Bulletin

The Department of Energy (DOE) admitted that the draft “Green Energy Option” rules for the renewable energy (RE) sector had still been “anemic,” hence, further improvements will have to be worked on by the National Renewable Energy Board.

According to an energy official, the set of rules “would still be up for further review and adjustments,” so they can be more valuable guiding path on the offer of “green energy” or RE capacities to prospective customers.

Under the current draft rules, the anticipated “Green Energy Option Program” (GEOP) principally underpinned by RE technologies will be taking strides on “tricky grounds” because of the demand aggregation set forth in the proposed policy.

Filipino consumers opting for “clean energy choice” will also need to go through the hassle of registration with their servicing distribution utilities (DUs), electric cooperatives (ECs) and/or suppliers.

It is essentially a “more complicated terrain” that the draft rules of the Philippines’ green energy option would be wading through, compared to the simpler and straightforward contracting that other markets had adhered to.

The set of rules is of four-page document, perceived by the industry to be more of lethargic form and howls for “the rest is still unwritten” because it DOEs not delve much on the commercial terms or market peculiarities that could have come as easy reference to prospective customers.

In the same draft GEOP rules, it was stipulated that “all end-users or customers (according to class regardless of demand size) may register with their DUs, electric cooperatives or suppliers their option to source RE power.”

The more ticklish proposition, so far, is under Section 13 stipulating that “DUs and ECs shall aggregate the demand for each RE, and contract directly with the RE developers for corresponding requirements net of the customers who have opted to contract directly with RE developer or supplier.”

With the nature of service provision of DUs though wherein their supply portfolio would often be from mixed sources or blended, it may not thrive as a “welcome proposition” for consumers to opt for RE or green energy because one cannot really be sure which energy source the capacity being wheeled into their homes would be coming from.

The propounded rules further set out that “a DU or EC shall not be required to supply an end-user that has exercised the option where such supply will result in increase in the blended generation which shall be passed through to other end-users of the DU.”

On the billing, servicing power utilities are mandated to “reflect in the monthly electric bills how much monthly energy consumption and generation charge is provided by RE facilities.”

The rules also require that DUs or suppliers would comply to reportorial requirements and that the Department of Energy (DOE) shall be establishing a database for such.

As specified, “all DUs, ECs and suppliers shall submit information reflecting purchases broken down by generating facility, power source and/or through the WESM (Wholesale Electricity Spot Market) covering the period that will be defined by the DOE.”

In addition, all generation companies are mandated to “submit data on sales to directly connected customers for the period to be identified by the DOE.”