Green energy option pushed as added incentive for RE technologies

Renewable Portfolio Standard

by Myrna Velasco – January 23, 2016

from Manila Bulletin

For renewable energy developers, it is now time to give individual consumers the choice to patronize renewable energy (RE) technologies via the proffered “green energy option.”

In an interview, Ernesto B. Pantangco, vice chairman of the National Renewable Energy Board and a key executive of the Lopez Group’s Energy Development Corporation, has prodded the Department of Energy (DOE) to finally consider enforcing this policy prescription under the Renewable Energy Act.

On a bigger scale, the other edict he ultimately wants to see in the implementation phase is the Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) – a mandate for distribution utilities (DUs) to source part of their supply from RE technologies.

Pantangco noted “the green energy option has been with the DOE… it is when a customer decides to get a portion of power from green energy.”

For RPS, he stressed that the current point of discussion will be for DUs taking 3.0-percent to 5.0-percent of their supply from emerging RE technologies.

With such policy enforcements, he emphasized that RE developers will have additional incentives to invest; and would also provide them additional market for their capacities.

If the feed-in-tariff (FIT) system for RE projects will ultimately fade for the next round of installations, Pantangco opined that the RPS and green energy option will be the alternative set of incentives that project sponsors can count on.

The RPS though has been lounging with the energy department for several years already – with the version of the Rules changing at each shift of leadership.

RE developers are being nudged to finally stave off their addiction of the FIT subsidies as other markets in the world are now turning away from that incentive scheme because of the precipitous cost slide of RE technologies – primarily for solar and wind.

The line of debate in the Philippines at this time is whether it is still acceptable for the government to dangle third round of FIT for added RE installations.