Gov't on 'right track' in crafting renewable energy portfolio

By Filane Mikee Cervantes

July 4, 2019, 3:22 pm

<p>Senator Sherwin Gatchalian</p>

Senator Sherwin Gatchalian

MANILA -- Senator Sherwin Gatchalian on Thursday said the Department of Energy (DOE) has put itself "right on track" in its energy direction by crafting a new program that seeks to build a renewable energy (RE) portfolio of 2,000 megawatts (MW) in 10 years.

Gatchalian, chair of the Senate committee on energy, lauded the DOE's initiative to collaborate with the National Renewable Energy Board (NREB) in boosting the use of renewable energy in the country.

"Growing the renewable energy sector is a crucial factor for the Philippines to achieve energy security by 2040," he said.

"Hopefully, through the new DOE and NREB proposal to build a renewable energy portfolio of 2,000 megawatts by offering a green energy tariff, we will be able to grow the share of renewables in our energy mix," he added.

The senator recalled that during his panel's recent hearing on energy security, the DOE said the share of renewables in the country’s energy mix is projected to drop to 17 percent in 2040 from 36 percent in 2017 under its business as usual scenario.

He stressed the need to conduct a careful study on the program, especially when it comes to the implementation of the green energy tariff rate, taking into consideration the declining costs of RE technologies.

"Will this new tariff require a subsidy and if so, how much will the rate effect on consumers be? These are some of the things that the DOE need to thoroughly study before they push through with the plan," he said.

Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi said the department will make a green energy tariff rate that will be auctioned among investors and developers of the RE program.

Cusi said the DOE is also looking at putting a ceiling rate so that RE players would compete with one another. (PNA)