2-year FIT extension set for biomass, hydro projects

Renewable energy (RE) developments on biomass and run-of-river hydro technologies have successfully secured two-year extension on their feed-in-tariff (FIT) incentive scheme, Energy Secretary Alfonso G. Cusi has told reporters.

According to the energy chief, a Circular is due to be signed on the lengthened duration of the subsidy rate for these two technologies, while maintaining FIT’s dead end for wind and solar installations.

“We have extended for biomass and hydro, because as I’ve said before, we’re positively looking at extension of the FIT for run-of-river and biomass, but it will be for existing projects only,” Cusi said.

The FIT rates of biomass and run-of-river hydro installations had been at R6.5969 per kilowatt-hour (kWh) and R5.8705 per kWh respectively, based on a Resolution issued by the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) on January 24, 2017.

“We are just extending the time and didn’t touch yet the FIT amount,” the energy chief qualified.

He emphasized though that any new project proposals on these two RE development domains would no longer be accepted in the extended FIT allocation.

“The new projects will certainly not be able to make it anymore, so we just have to deal with the existing projects, and I just want to make sure that there’s no misunderstanding when the rules are issued,” Cusi stressed.

He expounded that they are just tallying some numbers on prospective capacity that could still get into the stretched FIT subsidy, and such shall include FIT-qualified projects already endorsed by the Department of Energy (DOE) to the ERC for approval.

“I am looking at some numbers and we’re tallying them… I want to make it very clear to everybody that this is just the level of installation we’re talking about,” he pointed out.

The installation allotments for both hydro and biomass technologies had been at 250 megawatts capacity each, and these were not fully subscribed in the first and second wave race of developments.

Cusi reiterated that before he signs the FIT rate extension Circular, he wants to be certain that they are working on accurate numbers.

Fundamentally, for the electricity generation of the projects that will come last into the FIT qualification cap, only the capacity fraction that will fill the gap would eventually be qualified by the DOE based on “divisibility rule” enforced upon qualified projects.

“We want to be fair to all… we cannot just let anyone hanging in the balance. We’re also avoiding policies and programs that will be on “overrun,” I just want to make sure that everything is finished within our term,” he expounded.

Reference:

Velasco, M. M. (January 14, 2018). 2-year FIT extension set for biomass, hydro projects. Manila Bulletin. Retrieved from https://business.mb.com.ph/2018/01/14/2-year-fit-extension-set-for-biomass-hydro-projects/