FIT payments to RE developers still short by P8.15 billion by July

By Myrna M. Velasco –  July 15, 2017, 10:00 PM

from Manila Bulletin

Payments of feed-in-tariff (FIT) incentives to renewable energy (RE) developers remain short by P8.15 billion as of July this year, fund administrator of National Transmission Corporation (TransCo) has revealed this week.

According to Dinna O. Dizon, head of TransCo’s compliance monitoring department, the FIT settlement shortfall is equivalent to 27.99 percent of the total amount that should have been paid to RE developers.

Since the latter part of 2014 until July 5 this year, she emphasized that total payments already made by TransCo hovered at P20.962 billion or 72.01 percent of the total expected payout.

The deficiency in RE subsidy payments, Dizon noted, still excluded interest charges amounting to P187.53 million – accruing primarily due to delays in regulatory approvals.

TransCo has filed an application for adjustment in the FIT-Allowance (FIT-All) charges being passed on in the consumers’ electric bills, but only the 2016 portion of the adjustment had been approved so far by the Energy Regulatory Commission.

FIT-All is a separate line item in the electric bill and paid by all ratepayers, fundamentally to compensate RE developments in the country – the determination of which had been based on the caps set by the Department of Energy (DOE) on installations.

Of the P0.2291 per kilowatt-hour (kWh) increase in FIT-All petitioned for, it was just the P0.059 per kWh fraction that had been given preliminary go-signal by the industry’s regulatory agency.

That rendered fund administrator TransCo to still be scant of financial resources to fully remunerate the qualified RE developments under the FIT incentive scheme.

According to the state-run firm, it is now scouring for options on how to bridge the finance gap – and such included bid to secure prospective zero-interest loan from the World Bank Group.

Of the FIT payments, the bulk at 43-percent had been funneled to wind power installations; followed by solar and biomass with 13 percent share each; and the smallest pie went to hydro projects at measly 3.0 percent.