In the launch issue of SolarQuarter’s ASEAN magazine, Monalisa Dimalanta, Chair, National Renewable Energy Board (Philippines) shared insights on Philippine’s RE sector along with NREB’s growth plans in an exclusive interview.
How has the Renewable Energy sector dynamics changed over the last 5 years in the Philippines?
There has been a gradual shift in the Philippine renewable energy landscape over the last five years: with the full subscription of the capacity made available by the Government for the feed-in-tariff (FIT) system for solar and wind, there was undeniably a slowdown
in investments in these technologies for utility-scale projects. But this has moved attention to the consumer/C&I space where we see the growing trend in the prosumer sector. This is also Year 1 for compliance of the Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) where at least 1% of the gross sales of certain buyers (utilities, retail providers) are required to be sourced from renewables. We also implemented this year the voluntary RE market (Green Energy Option Program) where customers with an average demand of 100kW can source RE supply directly from their chosen suppliers.
The share of Renewable Energy in the Philippine power generation mix hit a new low of 21% in 2019, hence, what revisions to the NREP (National Renewable Energy Program) are being planned by NREB?
Among the new approaches we are adopting with the revised NREP is embedding RE within the system of energy and power development planning in the Philippines. The existing or old NREP provided only for a listing of RE projects (proposed and approved) as well as the implementation plans for the programs mandated under the RE Act. For this new NREP, we start from the perspective of demand over the next 20 year period and
then identify RE capacities that can meet that demand for 2020-2040.
We have heard that the Philippines will open Renewable Energy Space for 100% foreign ownership. Could you please throw some light on this?
There are already RE technologies that permit foreign participation greater than the 40% limit. The Philippine Constitution, for instance, allows for up to 100% foreign participation in large-scale exploration of minerals, among others, under a financial , technical assistance agreements or FTAAs which may be awarded and signed by the President. Geothermal resources are classified as mineral resources under the RE Act which then lends the exploration, development and utilization of the resource, in large scale, as
permissible under an FTAA process. For large, impoundment hydropower projects, the Supreme Court previously issued pronouncements that the nationality restrictions limiting foreign participation to 40% does not apply to the power generation component of such projects. Along the same lines of analysis, the DOE issued last year its own guidelines for the awarding of biomass operating contracts to up to 100% foreign participation.
Read the full interview here: https://solarquarter.com/2020/10/17/solarquarter-asean-aug-sept-2020-launch-edition/