The new Department of Energy (DoE) secretary Alfonso Cusi has been presented a list of requests from several companies in the energy sector which generally include development of renewable energy production in the Philippines.
The Philippine Solar Power Alliance (PSPA) called on Cusi to review the issued certificates of endorsement for the 17 solar power developers that qualified into the second round of feed-in-tariff (FiT) allocation which was conducted during the previous administration.
PSPA founder Ma. Theresa C. Capellan named Negros Island Solar Power, Inc., (IslaSol) as one of 40 companies in the alliance of solar business that is requesting the government for recognition of solar business’ contribution to the country’s economy.
Capellan said that the solar companies have already filed their demand letters to the DoE when it was still under former Secretary Zenaida Y. Monsada. They asked for clarity regarding the exclusion of their plants from the list of the solar projects that are eligible for the P8.69 per kilowatt-hour FiT rate, which will last for 20 years.
“We hope government can establish the veracity of the claims and allegations made by the PSPA members,” Business World reported Capellan as saying.
Islasol’s plant in La Carlota, Negros Occidental, has an installed capacity of 32 megawatts (MW). Meanwhile, its plant in Manapla, has with 48 MW. Both of these plants have been excluded from the list of companies endorsed by the DoE to the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC).
Citicore Power Inc. also asked the new energy chief to review the list of solar projects endorsed for the second round of feed-in-tariff rates. The company’s two solar power plants did not make it to the list.
Meanwhile, Salvador Antonio Castro Jr, President and CEO of CleanTech Global Renewables, Inc., said that the energy department should consider a third round of FiT allocation for solar energy projects, and a release of a circular on renewable portfolio standards (RPS).
He called for an increase in FiT allocation that will encourage investors and developers to plan what technology can be pursued.
Oscar de Venecia Jr, President and CEO of Basic Energy Corp., also said that a guaranteed FiT system for developers of small geothermal power plants will attract investors to put up plants in the country.
“If you’re looking at environmental issues, geothermal will probably be the closest that can come to fitting within that,” Business World reported de Venecia as saying.
Geothermal energy, a clean and sustainable energy generated from the heat of the earth, is considered to take up long gestation periods to accumulate. Unlike solar energy which requires battery storages to consume, geothermal energy can be accessed directly from the source powering a turbine or a generator.
FiT is a policy mechanism designed to accelerate investment in renewable energy technologies. Under its system, qualified developers of renewable sources are granted a lower fixed rate per kilowatt hour (kWh) of their generated electricity.
The energy department had initially set a target of 50 MW with a guaranteed FiT rate of P9.68 per kWh, before it was revised on April 30, 2014 to 500 MW. The ERC lowered the rate on March 15, 2015 to P8.69 per kWh.
What do you think of the requests of energy companies for incoming DoE Chief Alfonso Cusi? Let us know in the comments section below.