COMPETITIVE ENERGY INVESTMENTS: Department of Energy (DOE) Secretary Alfonso G. Cusi on Thursday emphasized that the government is pursuing an innovative, competitive and sustainable energy environment by facilitating investments. Cusi announced this during his Keynote Address at the 29th Energy Investment Forum held on December 7, 2017 at the Makati Shangri-La. The investment forum is among the major programs in celebration of National Energy Consciousness Month (NECM).
(Makati City). Imagine more renewable energy (RE) players investing in the Philippines due to tariff as low as P3 per kilowatt hour compared to the feed-in tariff (FIT) rate of P9.680/kw first offered in 2012 to solar installation investors.
Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi said today that Filipinos can stop imagining or dreaming about more affordable electricity costs as the Duterte administration opens up an era of competitive investments for energy.
In his keynote speech during the 29th Energy Investment Forum held at the Makati Shangri-La, Cusi said that the government is pursuing an innovative, competitive and sustainable energy environment in facilitating investments via lower tariffs.
“The P3/kw tariff is more than three times lower than the feed-in tariff rate that was considered under the past administrations. This development results to lower tariffs on energy that should translate to lower power rates for consumers,” said Cusi.
“Hence, the FIT era is over. It is now a question of how we can foster a RE industry that is competitive and affordable, as an alternative to conventional energy,” said Cusi.
The DOE chief highlighted environmental sustainability, energy security and energy equity as among the areas which regulators and investors alike should aim for in terms of energy development.
“The technology is available and the markets are awash with ‘green’ financing. Renewable energy needs to be a commercially viable option that is able to stand on its two feet without the crutches of subsidies as well as being an affordable solution for consumers. To continue the growth of the renewable energy sector, the DOE is laying down sound policies, including the implementation of Renewable Portfolio Standards (RPS) and the Green Energy Option Program,” said Cusi.
RPS mandates energy distribution utilities to source a minimum portion of their energy from eligible renewable sources, while the green energy option provides the power of choosing its energy supplier from renewable energy sources.
In achieving energy security, the DOE leads the implementation of Executive Order No. 30 which creates an Energy Investment Coordinating Council to speed up the processing and to de-stress regulations concerning energy projects of national significance.
“No longer will it take up to 3 years for bureaucrats to respond to a proposal for a project. Instead, these agencies must act on a proposal within 30 days, failure of which, the proposal is deemed approved,” said Cusi.
Cusi stressed that entire power system, including the transmission and distribution sectors, will play a critical role. Hence the DOE developed a Smart Grid Roadmap and Vision for 2040.
“The DOE established a clear policy direction to increase reliability reserves to 25%, for us to provide reliable, secure, sustainable and affordable energy to our people,” Cusi relayed.
He also cited the move to transform the country as the Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) trading and trans-shipment hub in the Asia-Pacific region following the DOE’s issuance of the Philippine Natural Gas Regulation. This policy would govern the entry and development of LNG terminals and related facilities in the country.
On energy equity, the DOE mandated the national energy policy to be technology-neutral, banking on all technologies available to deliver secure and affordable power, while also meeting emission and environmental standards.
“We want energy projects to be completed at the soonest possible time to improve access and the power systems. As the President has promised, we want to achieve total electrification by the end of his term,” Cusi concluded.