PHL banking on RE to hike power supply

By Lenie Lectura – April 23, 2017

from Business Mirror

The Department of Energy (DOE) said it wants the share of renewable energy (RE) to increase by at least 20,000 megawatts (MW) by 2040.

“It is vital in our vision toward attaining 20,000 megawatts of renewable-energy capacities by 2040,” Energy Secretary Alfonso G. Cusi said during the launch of the Renewables Readiness Assessment (RRA) for the country.

RRA is a collaboration among the DOE, International Renewable Energy Agency (Irena)  and other RE stakeholders from both the public and private sectors.

The DOE chief said that with the Philippine governments’ aggressive stance towards building RE capacities, there is a “need to identify and analyze key challenges to further guide our stakeholders in our policies, regulatory and institutional framework”.

He said formulating RRA involved research, interviews, focus group discussions and several multistakeholder consultations.

The goal, he added, is to provide a comprehensive and detailed analyses of the country’s RE profile in order to recommend measures to deal with the pertinent issues in the industry.

Cusi said the Philippine RRA will also contribute to a database of the status of renewables readiness across member-countries of Irena.

The RRA is also meant to serve as a forum with industry stakeholders to inform them on its results, solicit their views in carrying out the recommendations and discuss opportunities and challenges of the RE sector.

Irena is an intergovernmental organization that supports countries in transitioning into a sustainable energy future. It serves as the principal platform for international cooperation and an avenue to explore other values of RE as it promotes widespread adoption and sustainable use of all forms in the pursuit of sustainable development.

“The DOE is committed to provide a level of playing field among RE developers to assure the country of its indigenous and sustainable energy for the consuming public,” Cusi said.

Meanwhile the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) authorized two RE applicants to develop and own their respective point-to-point limited facilities to connect to the Visayas grid in line with the government’s drive to encourage generation companies  for alternative sources of electricity.

The ERC authorized First Toledo Solar Energy Corp. (FTSEC) and Negros Island Solar Power Inc. (Islasol) to connect its solar power plants, each generating 60 MW and 40.5 MW, respectively.

Islasol will link its solar power plant to the National Grid Corp. of the Philippines (NGCP) Cadiz Substation, while FTSEC will be connecting directly to the NGCP Calung-Calung Substation.

Islasol and FTSEC were authorized by virtue of Section 9 of Republic Act 9136, or the Electric Power Industry Reform Act [Epira] of 2001, which provides that “a generation company may develop and own or operate dedicated point-to-point limited transmission facilities that are consistent with the Transmission Development Plan [TDP], Provided, that such facilities are required only for the purpose of connecting to the transmission system, and are used solely by the generating facility, subject to prior authorization by the ERC.”