RPS, Green-Energy Option guidelines to be released before Aquino bows out–Monsada

by Bong FabeApril 22, 2016

from Business Mirror

SAN CARLOS CITY—The Department of Energy (DOE) is now working double time to finalize and release before end of June the twin guidelines on the Renewable Portfolio Standards (RPS) and the Green-Energy Option, Energy Secretary Zenaida Monsada said.

Republic Act (RA) 9513, or the Renewable Energy Act of 2008, which the 14th Congress passed in July 2008 and signed by President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo in December 2008, mandated these twin-policy prescriptions in order to make investments in the renewable-energy (RE) sector viable and profitable for developers.

Once enforced, the RPS and Green-Energy Option program will mean additional incentives for RE developers to invest, as it will also provide them additional market for their capacities.

RPS will “require all distribution utilities [DOS] to have certain percentage of RE in their mix,” Monsada said. This means that once enforced, all DU companies must source part of their supply from RE sources, as it generally sets a percentage as to the level of RE capacity that power producers must come up with.

It was learned that the DOE is now fine-tuning the draft of the RPS guidelines, prepared by former Energy Secretary Jericho Petilla. The first RPS draft came out in 2012, but has been gathering dust in the DOE archives.

Section 6 of RA 9513 states, “All stakeholders in the electric power industry shall contribute to the growth of the RE industry of the country.”

Toward this end, the National Renewable Energy Board (NREB), created under Section 27 of that law, “shall set the minimum percentage of generation from eligible renewable-energy resources and determine to which sector RPS shall be imposed on a per-grid basis within one year from the effectivity of this act.”

On the other hand, the Green-Energy Option is described in Section 9 of RA 9513 as a “program which provides end-users the option to choose RE resources as their sources of energy.” This means that end-users have the option or power to directly choose their RE source of energy, Monsada explained.

“The end-user who will enroll under the energy option program should be informed by way of its monthly electric bill, how much of its monthly energy consumption and generation charge is provided by RE facilities,” Section 9 of RA 9513 added.

The Renewable Energy Act mandates the DOE, “in consultation with the NREB,” to set the appropriate implementing rules and regulations of the (Green-Energy Option) Program and for the National Grid Corp. of the Philippines, DUs and Philippine Electricity Market Corporation to “provide the mechanisms for the physical connection and commercial arrangements necessary to ensure the success of the Green-Energy Option.”

Monsada said the RPS and Green-Energy Option program are just a few of the results of the Electric Power Industry Reform Act (Epira), or RA 9136, that Arroyo signed into law on June 8, 2001.

“Epira provided for open access and retail competition in our energy sector. And this “allow[s] big end-users to buy directly at hindi na kailangang dumaan pa doon sa big distribution utilities,” she added.

Monsada accompanied President Aquino here for the inauguration of the 59-megawatt, 75-hectare solar farm in this city on Tuesday.