ERC extends FIT-All filing by another 30 days

By Myrna M. Velasco – October 29, 2016, 10:01 PM

from Manila Bulletin

A one-month extension had been granted for the filing of updated feed-in-tariff allowance (FIT-All) that will be passed on in the consumers’ electric bills next year.

That had been in view of the letter-plea lodged by fund administrator National Transmission Corporation (TransCo) with the Energy Regulatory Commission.

The extension is to December 1 this year, from the originally targeted date of filing on October 31.

FIT-All is reflected in the electric bills in peso-per-kilowatt hour (kWh) basis. Collections will be used to pay the FIT incentives of qualified renewable energy (RE) projects.

ERC Chairman Jose Vicente B. Salazar noted that “with the sufficient time leeway granted to TransCo, ERC expects it to complete all the requirements for filing its 2017 FIT-All rate application.”

Early information fillers had the industry talking about the possibility of FIT-All application at the range of R0.20 to R0.24 per kilowatt hour, an increase from currently at R0.12 per kWh.

With continuous downtrend in power spot market prices, it will take longer period for the consumers seeing that separate line item of FIT-All burden in their bills – in fact, it is for almost a quarter of a lifetime.

FIT is a subsidy taken from consumers’ pockets and paychecks to spur the development of RE in the country – but installations swamped at a time when caution of cost downtrend in technology costs had been staring energy officials in the face.

With calls unheeded then, the consumers are without a choice but to be left with “stranded subsidy scheme” that in essence manifests the fallacy of what some project sponsors claim to be environmental advocacy.

The operator of the spot market earlier showed a study on RE pushing down rates in the Wholesale Electricity Spot Market (WESM). However, the disconnect must be explained because the RE facilities are on “must-dispatch” and they can just put up a bid of zero or negative because at the end of the day, they can still count on their FIT payments for financial viability.