13 August 2011 in Philippine Star
UK-based Global Green Power urges Phl gov't to hasten dev't of RE sector
MANILA, Philippines - UK-based Global Green Power PLC Corp. (GGPC), a company developing biomass power plants around the country, has urged the Philippine government to speed up the development of the renewable energy sector.
GGPC president Maribeth de Montaigne also expressed concern over the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI)/Board of Investment(BOI) pronouncements favoring a delay in the full implementation of the Renewable Energy Act.
De Montaigne said the diligent efforts of the country’s energy team have been negated by the Trade Department’s statement.
“This is something we cannot understand as the nation faces yet another impending power crisis. What will be our alternative? Continued unabated expansion and use of imported coal and oil?” the GGPC official said.
De Montaigne said the country is looking forward to a higher growth rate due to the renewed international investor confidence in the Philippines, and the energy sector must be ready to support this surge in the economy with sufficient and reasonably priced electricity.
In their letter to President Aquino, the renewable energy advocate reasoned that swift adaptation of renewable energy into the Philippine power generation system “can free the Filipino from the impact of staggering world oil and coal prices.”
“Our country therefore needs to embrace cost competitive renewable energy without delay and without fear or favor to those who seek the deferral of clean, cost effective renewable energy for reasons of either being misinformed or vested interests,” De Montaigne said.
The GGPC official said perceptions from certain sectors that renewable energy is expensive is short-sighted given the country’s dependence on imported coal and oil, the prices of which are highly volatile and increasingly becoming more expensive.
“New technology today provides us the ability to generate and deliver baseload power from renewable energy sources, cheaper that newly built coal or oil-based power generation facilities, when developed within the framework of the Renewable Energy Act,” she said.
GGPC’s thermal biomass grid connected (TBGC) power plants can deliver cheaper renewable energy at P7 per kilowatthour (kwh) through the RE Act’s proposed feed-in-tariff (FiT) rate.
The biomass FIT rate of P7 per kwh is subject only to the consumer price index (CPI) price increases, minimal foreign exchange rate fluctuations, and no fuel cost “pass through” burden for the 20-year FIT duration.
Power plants that run on coal or fossil fuel are subject to an upward fossil fuel pricing trend and price volatility and fuel pass through.
GGPC’s proposed rate is cheaper than coal plants priced in excess of P8 per kWh to electric cooperatives and distribution utilities as evidenced by the most recent electricity supply agreements (ESA).
She said these coal plants’ ESAs embody the latest capital cost of equipment, development cost, construction cost, fuel cost on a “pass-through” basis, as well as operations and maintenance for a newly built coal plants. Coal plants also receive BOI incentives similar to the RE Act.