Petilla wants more RE investments

by Myrna Velasco, January 25, 2015
from Manila Bulletin

Despite some disappointments over the Department of Energy’s (DOE) handling of the feed-in-tariff (FIT) system for renewable energy (RE) projects, Energy Secretary Carlos Jericho L. Petilla is still keeping his eye on the goal of turning the country into a “mecca of green energy.”

As culled from a statement of the DOE, the energy chief’s publicists have cited his “intensified call for the arrival of more RE this year.”

The DOE, being the central planning agency of the country’s energy needs though, may need to deeply examine the real requirements of the power system – as anchored on the overall goal of energy security and resource sustainability and not just on advocacy leaning preference of technologies.

On Petilla’s end, his move to further whet the appetite for RE investments is supposedly built upon the country’s aspiration “to become a hub for sustainable energy development.”

He is counting on the streamlined process of RE project approvals as something that could further stimulate capital flow in the sector.

“The milestone approach, which accelerated the application processes from 100 days down to nearly 45 days, contributed to the active participation of the private sector in developing potential RE areas in the country,” Petilla stressed.

The department has long discussed plans of coming up with an updated Philippine Energy Plan (PEP) and feasible “fuel mix policy” in power plant developments, but these have yet to be concretized on paper.

Even the DOE’s submissions of PEP in Congress were not given seal of approval because most of the data were not updated and well-studied.

At this stage, the energy department appears to be in an “invigorated tenor” purportedly for “vigorously increasing the list of issuances for the certificates of endorsements to the Energy Regulatory Commission” on RE projects which could avail of the FIT incentives.

The department recently unveiled the 14 projects which have been endorsed for FIT availments – or the payment that RE developers could corner as incentive for their generated capacity as injected into the power grid.

But even that posed problems with some technologies – especially with the endorsed wind projects which up to now are hurdled with transmission constraints on their capacity dispatch.