Talks on for lower FIT rate for solar energy projects
MANILA, Philippines – The National Renewable Energy Board (NREB) is proposing a tariff rate that is even lower than the already contested P9.10 ($0.21) per kilowatt hour (kWh) for solar energy projects.
NREB Vice Chairman Ernesto Pantangco said there is a consensus that the Feed in Tariff (FIT) rate of P9.10 is no longer acceptable, and the board is consulting with industry players to arrive at a mutually acceptable rate.
The FIT is the per kWh rate that will be guaranteed to renewable energy developers to ensure their projects’ viability. Consumers shoulder the tariff through a new line item in their electricity bills.
The policy body is mulling “something like P8.95 ($0.20) per kWh," Pangtangco said.
"We want to encourage [developers] but at the same time, we want to temper the impact to consumers," he said.
NREB is tasked under the Renewable Energy Act of 2008 to recommend policies, rules, and standards to govern the implementation of the law, which granted fiscal and non-fiscal incentives to renewable energy projects.
The Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) that conducts the hearing on the appropriate FIT rate for the 450 megawatt (MW) additional installation for solar power projects.
‘Very strong resistance’
Pantangco said there was a “very strong resistance” on the FIT price, as developers are divided between P9.68 ($0.22) and P9.10 ($0.21).
“The challenge now is for us to determine what will be a mutually acceptable FIT,” he said.
The consultation will help NREB determine a FIT price which should be both encouraging for renewable energy developers and affordable to consumers when passed on.
The February 2015 Manila Electric Company (Meralco) billing will also reflect the new FIT-All charge of P0.04 ($0.0009) per kWh.
Energy Secretary Carlos Jericho Petilla had said that the proposed 450 MW increase in installation target for solar projects will only have a P0.02 ($0.0004) per kWh impact to consumers.
DOE initially set the installation cap at 750 MW, divided among run-of-river hydro with 250 MW; biomass, 250 MW; wind, 200 MW; and solar, 50 MW.
The installation target for solar was already adjusted to 500MW.
Since the Renewable Energy Act of 2008 was signed into law, the DOE has approved 404 hydropower, 68 solar, 54 wind, 43 biomass, 41 geothermal, and 5 ocean energy projects. – Rappler.com
US$1 = P44.36