Group asks government to grant perks to geothermal plants

by Lenie LecturaAugust 19, 2016

from Business Mirror

A group of geothermal-energy developers has urged the government to provide incentives to address the barriers related to costs and resource-exploration risks.

In particular, the National Geothermal Association of the Philippines (NGAP) said geothermal projects should be included in the feed-in tariff (FiT) program.

FiT is a preset power price that is guaranteed to qualified new renewable-energy providers. Under Republic Act 9513, or the 2008 Renewable Energy Act, FiT is already provided to solar-, wind- and other renewable-energy sources considered “emerging technology” for the Philippines, but geothermal is not yet included.

The Department of Energy (DOE), according to the group, is actively encouraging the development of renewable-electricity generation through the National Renewable Energy Program, which outlines the government’s goal to increase geothermal-power capacity by 75 percent, with an addition of 1,465 megawatts (MW) for the period 2013 to 2030.

However, the DOE, in consultation with NGAP, has determined that meeting that target will require certain enabling actions by the government, as detailed in the Geothermal Road Map.

“The DOE realizes that it can no longer hope to discover conventional ‘elephant-sized’ geothermal resources, as these have been fully accessed and evaluated by the former state-owned energy development and public-utility companies,” the NGAP said.

“With an appropriately structured FiT rate that will provide guaranteed payment to investors through a universal charge, these acidic and lower enthalpy resources can be developed to generate electricity,” it added.