Circulars on RE use to be released ‘very soon’

THE Department of Energy (DoE) is set to issue two circulars on using renewable energy (RE) in the Philippines, according to an agency official.

In an interview at the sidelines of an energy symposium at Bonifacio Global City in Taguig City, Mylene Capongcol, director of the department’s RE bureau, said the draft circulars on the Green Energy Option Program (GEOP) and Renewable Portfolio Standards (RPS) for Off-grid Areas would be promulgated “very soon.”

She declined to give additional details on when it would happen, saying this would depend on Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi.

According to her, the bureau is working on the right terms to be used for the GEOP circular, and has submitted the RPS circular to Energy Undersecretary Felix William Fuentebella.

The latter circular will come after the DoE released last December Department Circular DC2017-12-0015, which lays the rules in establishing RPS for on-grid areas.

It mandated distribution utilities (DUs); retail electricity suppliers; and other participants, including power-generation companies serving directly connected customers, to get a certain percentage of their electricity requirements from eligible RE sources.

These are biomass; waste-to-energy technology; wind, solar, ocean and geothermal energy; run-of-river and impounding hydroelectric power systems; and other globally accepted resources and technologies.

GEOP is an RE policy mechanism aimed at allowing consumers to choose RE resources as their source of energy. It is based on Section 9, Chapter 2 of Republic Act 9513, or the Renewable Energy Act of 2008,

This is different from the retail competition and open access (RCOA) scheme, which allows customers in contestable markets to choose a power supplier that best suit their needs.

The scheme’s implementation is suspended after the Supreme Court (SC) issued a temporary restraining order (TRO) against the DoE and the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) in February last year, preventing them from pushing through with the mandatory migration of huge power consumers into this system.

The RPS for Off-grid Areas seeks to help the RE industry grow in remote and missionary areas by requiring industry players to generate part of their power requirement from eligible RE sources, pursuant to Section 6, Chapter 2 of RA 9513.

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