Agency promotes renewables, offers incentives to investors

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Thursday, December 19, 2013

ALTHOUGH the cost of producing them is higher than energy from fossil fuel, renewable energy has long-term benefits to people and the planet.

This is why the government offers incentives to investors in renewable energy production, said Marissa Cerezo, assistant director of the Renewable Energy Management Bureau (REMB).

Cerezo said solar, geothermal and hydro energy are used widely and are effective alternatives to coal-fired and diesel-fired power plants.

“Many people think that renewable energy is expensive because we did not include the external cost of fossil fuel (such as coal and diesel) that emits pollution and cause health risks,” she said.

She urged developers of renewable energy to register with the Department of Energy (DOE) and avail themselves of incentives through the Board of Investments (BOI).

“Once issued the certificate of registration (by DOE), a developer can avail of incentives from the government. The BOI will not honor any application for incentives without the certificate of registration from the DOE,” Cerezo said during a forum on renewable energy development in the Visayas.

She said the government needs to conduct a thorough cost analysis on the effect of renewable energy on climate change.

She said the economy will also benefit from the development of renewable energy sources because its importation of fossil fuel can be reduced.

Besides, she said, most of the cost in renewable energy production is only in the initial stage.

In the case of solar energy, the big investment needed is in purchasing solar panels, converter and storage, which are one-time expenses and can be recovered in seven years.

Cerezo said households that invest in solar power can also recover the cost in seven years and enjoy cheap power in the long run.

She said households with solar systems can apply for net metering with their power distribution utility.

Under the net metering scheme, the power generated by the solar system will be deducted from the household’s total consumption so the consumer pay less.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on December 19, 2013.

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