Power opportunities abound in the Philippines

While this article states expected rate increases in off-grid areas in the Philippines, I see the opportunity of developing alternative business models to generating power that maybe cheaper and cleaner for the environment.

From BusinessWorld Philippines

July 03, 2012

Napocor seeks increase in off-grid power subsidy

CONSUMERS may end up paying more to subsidize off-grid power services after the National Power Corp. (Napocor) asked the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) to approve higher missionary electrification charges.

This petition, released yesterday, seeks to more than double the universal charge for missionary electrification (UCME) over the next five years.

From the current P0.11 per kilowatt-hour (kWh), Napocor wants to charge P0.1962/kWh) this year, rising to P0.2262/kWh in 2013, P0.3293/kWh in 2014, P0.3318/kWh in 2015 and dropping to P0.2256/kWh in 2016.

It is also proposing an additional P0.0851/kWh to recover shortfalls last year, bringing its total proposed rates for 2012 and 2013 to P0.2813/kWh and P0.3112/kWh, respectively.

The ERC approved a P0.0709/kWh UCME adjustment last August, a decision that provided Napocor with P4.299 billion for the operation off-grid area power facilities.

The proposed adjustments will provide Napocor and its Small Power Utilities Group (SPUG) with P12,707,219 for 2012 and P15,176,587 for 2013, which the firm said it would use to operate off-grid areas and to pay remaining balances.

If approved, customers who consume 100 kWh a month can expect an additional P28.13 in their electricity bills, while those who consume 300 kWh will see an increase of P84.39.

“The existing… subsidy is way below the actual disbursement made in 2010 and 2011. Napocor finds it necessary to adjust the UCME subsidy to the proposed level in order to cover the subsidy requirement for these years so as to maintain the reliability and stability of power supply in the off-grid areas,” the firm said.

SPUG areas are in Mindoro, Batangas, Marinduque, Quezon, Palawan, Catanduanes, Albay, Romblon, Batanes, Cagayan, Aurora, Apayao, Kalinga, Isabela, Camarines Sur, Masbate, Cebu, Siquijor, Antique, Iloilo, Leyte, Biliran, Samar, Basilan, Sulu, Dinagat, Sultan Kudarat, Davao, Surigao del Norte, Zamboanga and Tawi-Tawi.

Napocor, through the SPUG, manages and operates 157 power utilities in off-grid areas with a combined capacity of 200 megawatts. It needs about P7-9 billion to efficiently run SPUG operations. — E. N. J. David

Article location : http://www.bworldonline.com/content.php?section=TopStory&title=Napocor seeks increase in off grid power subsidy&id=54558

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