Probe into ‘arbitrary’ reduction of solar power allocation sought-A A +A
Tuesday, November 22, 2011
AN INQUIRY should be conducted into the alleged reduction by the Department of Energy of the capacity of solar photovoltaic (PV) power plants to only 50 megawatts (MW) from the initial 235 MW as per the Renewable Energy law.
"The DOE and the National Renewable Energy Board (NREB) should explain the rationale behind the drastic reduction they made in the capacity of solar PV power plants for initial implementation under Republic Act 9513 or the Renewable Energy Act of 2008," stressed House Resolution 1785 authored by Rep. Florencio Flores Jr.
It alleged that DOE reduced the initial capacity of 269 MW for solar PV power plants to only 235MW until 2015 as recommended by the NREB “on the very day the National Renewable Energy Program was launched on June 14, 2011.”
During a recent hearing on the petition for Feed-in-Tariff (FIT), the DOE then told the Energy Regulatory Commission that only 50MW of solar PV power plants will be initially implemented, the resolution added. “The DOE has been reducing, for reasons known only to people within the DOE, the capacity for initial implementation of solar PV projects.”
NREB’s installation targets in the third year of the FIT adoption include 250 megawatts both for biomass and hydro; solar at 100MW (though reduced to 50MW as per the DOE certification to ERC); wind at 220MW (200MW by DOE); and ocean at 10 megawatts.
Last May 16, NREB filed the petition asking ERC to adopt its proposed FIT of P7/kWh for electricity generated from biomass; ocean at P17.65/kWh; run-of-river hydro, P6.15/kWh; ground-mounted solar at P17.95/kWh; and wind energy at P10.37/kWh.
It explained that while the resulting FIT for electricity generated from emerging renewable energy (RE) resources may be higher compared to the generation cost of fossil-fuel power plants, “this is due primarily to the huge capital investment requirement for RE technologies. The long-term economic and environmental benefits of RE certainly outweigh the modest increase in the electricity cost in the short-term.” (CGC)
Published in the Sun.Star Bacolod newspaper on November 22, 2011.