23 MARCH 2011
Feed-in tariff allowance sked for RE moved to 2012
MANILA, Philippines – It is still a long way to go for renewable energy developers who are waiting for the actual implementation of the feed-in- tariff allowance (FIT-ALL) or the levelized subsidy that will underpin investments in the sector.
Based on discussions at the recently-concluded sixth meeting of the National Renewable Energy Board (NREB), the target for the actual implementation of the levelized FIT-All charge will not come until January 2012 – and that is still assuming all processes and schedules will perfectly fall into place.
Technically, the calculation of FITs will have to go through two-level process of regulatory approvals and these alone will take 180 days of waiting; plus another 60 to 90 days to prepare the utilities for billing enforcement of the FIT charges.
The much-publicized March 31, 2011 filing with the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) will only cover the FIT charges on various technologies. Previous numbers looked at probable P12 per kilowatt FiT for wind; P7 to P9 per kWh for run-of-river hydros and biomass technologies; and a heftier P15 per kWh for solar.
Following that filing, the ERC will have to deliberate on the technology-specific FiT charges and approve such within the stretch of 90 days or until end-June to July. The filing of the FIT rates will coincide with the issuance of the Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) rules by the Department of Energy (DOE) as well as the updated Philippine Energy Plan.
The FIT rate filing will just serve as the starting point on the establishment of the levelized FiT or the peso-per-kilowatt hour (P/kWh) charge that will eventually be passed on as a form of universal levy in the consumers’ bills.
Based on the new timelines set by the energy department, the target date application for FIT-All charge may skid to July 31 this year. From that, the ERC will need another 90 days to conduct public hearings on the proposed levelized FIT charge and for its subsequent issuance of a ruling.
Within the same timeframe, it is also targeted that the guidelines on payment and collection and other supplemental guidelines will have to be submitted by applicant NREB-DOE to the ERC as part of the rule-making process.
The release of the approved FIT-All charge is expected by October 31, according to documents detailing minutes of the renewable energy board’s meeting.
The other implementation milestones prescribed by Energy Secretary Rene D. Almendras on the crafting of the Green Energy Option Program; Net Metering Rules; as well as the Transmission and Distribution Development Plans by the second to third quarters of this year have not been modified so far.
Apart from the regular NREB meetings, several technical consultation and roundtable discussions on interconnection, net metering and RPS rules are also being scheduled by May 23 and 25 this year.
While the Philippines is still discussing the implementation of its FiT charges, the countries which have gone ahead in their renewable energy program are now talking about timelines on phasing out subsidies in the sector.
Read article source in Manila Bulletin Publishing Corporation, March 23, 2011