The challenges of Renewable Energy in the Philippines

It appears instead of encouraging higher use of renewable energy, one particular business group is opposing the further increase use mostly on the basis of cost. How about the greater benefit of protecting the environment by helping reduce carbon emissions that may have been produced by alternative power options like coal generation?

From BusinessWorld Philippines

October 08, 2012

Changes on RE installation targets opposed

THE FOUNDATION for Economic Freedom (FEF) expressed its strong opposition in any plan of the Department of Energy (DoE) to increase renewable energy (RE) installation targets for wind and solar projects, the organization said in a statement yesterday.

FEF, a public advocacy organization, said increasing installation targets for wind and solar projects will reduce the costing for biomass and hydro energy projects.

“Secretary Jose Rene D. Almendras mentioned that the DoE is amenable to increase installation targets for what he thinks are under-utilized capacities. He made a general statement,” FEF Executive Director Atty. Ric P. Balatbat said in a phone interview.

“We are definitely against that and will oppose any move in increasing installation targets,” he added.

The statement indicated that the current installation targets for the RE technologies is 750 megawatts (MW). Out of this total, 250 MW each is allotted for hydro and biomass projects, while the target for wind projects is at 200 MW, while solar projects have an installation target of 50 MW.

“The main reason for the installation target is to manage cost effectiveness, by integrating use of cheaper RE such as hydro and biomass. By increasing installation targets previously approved for solar and wind, which is more expensive, then it defeats the rationale,” explained Mr. Balatbat.

The organization calls on the Energy Regulatory Commission to be transparent to the public with the overall cost to the Filipino consumer. “Renewable energy, being intermittent and site specific, demands higher transmission charges and standby costs. The additional grid and administrative costs, which will be imposed on the Filipino consumer must be made public and transparent,” the group said.

To lower the burden on the consumers, FEF said: “If there are more applicants than target installation for a specific technology, the best way to go is to auction the target installation and award the contracts to the lowest bidder.” —Claire-Ann Marie C. Feliciano

Article location : http://www.bworldonline.com/content.php?section=Economy&title=Changes on RE installation targets opposed&id=59734

One thought on “The challenges of Renewable Energy in the Philippines

  1. krisatienza says:

    I support Renewable Energy projects and it’s sad that other advocates are not seeing eye to eye with the government. Let’s hope that our care for the environment will prevail!

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