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Arroyo signs Renewable Energy Law

By Joel Guinto
Posted date: December 16, 2008

MANILA, Philippines -- President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo signed into law on Tuesday the Renewable Energy Law of 2008, which will provide mechanisms to further harness "green" energy sources.

The law aims to "accelerate" the exploration of geothermal, hydroelectric, solar, biomass, wind, and ocean energy; and increase the utilization and development of renewable energy, according to a statement released by Malacañang.

"Now, with our Renewable Energy Act, we can move aggressively to develop these resources," Arroyo said in a speech before the signing.

"This is also timely, because it [renewable energy] mitigates climate change," she said.

The principal authors of the law Camarines Sur Representative Luis Villafuerte, Cebu Representative Raul del Mar, and Senator Edgardo Angara witnessed the signing, along with Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile, Speaker Prospero Nograles, Senate Majority Floor Leader Juan Miguel Zubiri, and the President's son, Pampanga Representative Juan Miguel Arroyo.

Arroyo signed the law hours after she arrived from Qatar, where she embarked on a four-day official visit.

RP needs green power for energy security, climate change

By Phil. Star
Posted date: April 06, 2010

MANILA, Philippines (Xinhua) - The development of renewable energy in the Philippines is not just a means to mitigate the impact of climate change but can also help solve the pressing problem of energy security.

This is especially crucial now as the El Nino is causing widespread blackouts in Mindanao. The drought spell, which is expected to last until June, reduced water levels, cutting supply in southern Philippines, where more than half of its energy requirement is sourced from hydropower dams.

Philippine Assistant Energy Secretary Mario Marasigan noted in a recent forum that one of the key programs of the twenty-year Philippine Energy Plan (PEP) is to "aggressively develop renewable energy potential such as biomass, solar, wind and ocean resources. "

Under the PEP, the Philippine government is targeting to double the current 5,300 megawatts renewable energy-based installed capacity for power generation by 2030. This is in line with the government's thrust to ensure energy security while at the same time help in reducing carbon emissions.

The use of the so-called "green power" is at the core of the global climate change debate, as rising greenhouse gas emission is mainly caused by the growing consumption of coal and oil for energy needs.

The Philippines depends on imported oil and coal for most of its energy needs. But the abundance of potential renewable energy resources will help limit such dependence.

Marasigan noted that apart from the "untapped vast potential" of micro hydro and solar energy, the Philippines can further harness its wind, solar and ocean energy potential.

The Philippines in fact has the only wind farm in the Southeast Asian region. The windmills in the northern Philippine province of Ilocos Norte was built via a $40 million loan from the Danish Development Agency. Wind power supplies about 40 percent of Ilocos Norte's electricity requirements.

Renewable energy: The next frontier?

Special Feature
By Manila Bulletin
Posted date: Aug 06, 2010

Energy is traditionally known as the industry of arcane concepts, and a seemingly dull sector for the public to even care about.

But with competition and innovative product offers now about to knock at consumers' doors, those impressions are seen changing through time. Prepaid electricity, broadband over power lines and green energy options are just among those stirring excitement among electricity consumers.

And with the global policy stage fervently engaged in climate change abatement strategies, renewable energy is suddenly in vogue. Investors are also making string of good bets as to funneling fresh capital in new technologies, with targets set for RE gaining steam in the future energy mix.

Beyond the climate issue, green energy project sponsors can also look forward to benefit from carbon trading mechanisms expected to be crystallized by yearend under the Copenhagen framework, an international agreement on emissions reduction to succeed the Kyoto Protocol post 2012.

What has been pioneered as clean energy development agenda for the developed world like the United States and European countries is similarly increasing its allure among developing nations, such as Brazil, Chile, Mexico, Peru and many Asian countries. China, notwithstanding its new label as the world's leading contributor of carbon dioxide emissions; also tucked in RE technologies (primarily wind and solar) into its generation mix.

Not wanting to be outdone, the Philippines worked notches ahead in setting its policy to entice clean energy investments through its Renewable Energy Law (Republic Act 9513). The policy's implementing rules and regulations took effect in June, but many of the implementation guidelines - such as the crafting of the Renewable Portfolio Standards (RPS), feed-in tariff (FiT) and net metering schemes have been left into the hands of the National Renewable Energy Board (NREB) and the industry regulator.

"I have already submitted the names to constitute the NRE Board. We are waiting for Malacañang to act on it," Energy Secretary Angelo T. Reyes bared. It was initially reported that former Energy secretary Vince Perez has been offered the board's chairmanship.


The passage of the RE Law was a high point that galvanized the Department of Energy (DoE) and many green energy advocates into euphoric mood. The Philippine government's thrust of expanding renewable energy development has been initially anchored on the goal to enhance the country's energy independence, referencing on the Philippine Energy Plan.

Energy assistant secretary Mario Marasigan brandished that his office has been reviewing over 100 applications of RE projects, mostly for wind, biomass and hydro projects. Any shovel-ready projects? None yet, he said, appealing for patience as he noted that the proposals have yet to go through some levels of review and approval processes.

Mr. Marasigan, in his perpetually optimistic demeanor, assured though that capitals will flow and that the country's shift into cleaner energy options will soon be within a hair of reach. Renewable energy, also widely referred to as "green power technologies" - are produced from inexhaustible (infinite) resources or are quickly renewed through natural process, such as biomass, solar, wind, hydro, geothermal, ocean energy sources and even hybrid systems.

Conventional school of thought suggests that RE options, though cleaner source of energy, are prohibitively expensive. Additionally, some new sources (i.e. solar, wind, tidal currents) are still latching onto largely-unproven technologies, hence, downsides may just disappoint economies and consumers in the future if development scales are not managed efficiently.

Mr. Marasigan said the RE law appropriately set in the buffer via the offered fiscal and non-fiscal incentives - the clear goal is ensuring that cleaner energy alternatives may not turn out too expensive for the consumers. The investment perks include: Seven-year income tax holiday (ITH) for RE resources that can be categorized as "new investments"; zero-rated value added tax (VAT) for the sale of fuel or power generated from RE sources; duty-free importation of RE machinery, equipment and materials for the first 10 years from the issuance of certification to the RE developer; and the chance to enjoy a significantly-reduced corporate tax rate of 10% on net taxable income after seven years of ITH as compared to the prevailing corporate income tax rate of 32%.

The proposed RPS will be designed as well to require electricity industry players (generators and distributors alike) to invest or corner a portion of their supply from RE sources. For the end-users/consumers, they may opt to avail of the "green energy option" or the mechanism that shall empower them to choose renewable energy in meeting their power requirements; which in turn, may eventually entitle them to benefits.

One size doesn't fit all

"On the RPS, we are not looking at any model from other countries; it should be resource-based and will depend on the implementation schedule," Mr. Marasigan said, adding that the per-state-portfolio-standards adopted by the US is not going to work in other countries.

In his view, Aboitiz Power president and chief executive officer Erramon Aboitiz noted that the RPS must be set on a nationwide basis, instead of doing it per grid since there are areas wherein RE sources can't be a viable alternative.

Aboitiz Power, has taken initial pitch in convincing consumers to patronize clean energy solutions, primarily those derived from RE, via its newly launched "Cleanergy" brand.

Mr. Aboitiz said the intent is to prime consumers that going for cleaner energy alternatives must thrive as a "conscious choice", because this means enticing them into "doing their share in reducing the environmental impact of their electricity use." Aboitiz Power is into aggressive development of RE sources, primarily hydro and geothermal, yet still balancing that with conventional sources especially in areas where RE are not available.

The Lopez-controlled First Gen Corporation is another company which is taking big strides on RE development, with it eyeing to be the biggest geothermal player in Asia, if not the whole world.

"There are varying precedents on what sector RPS will be assigned to: distribution utility or generation.

Both will work as long as the guidelines are clear," First Gen vice president Victor Santos opined. The company plans to submit its position paper for the propounded portfolio standard to the NREB.

Echoing proposals that the RPS must be set nationwide, Mr. Santos emphasized that a "10% RPS is a good start then to be increased by 1% every year for 5 years."

He added the NREB will then "reassess if the RPS has been working and will draw up specific proposals if the percentage will have to be increased or decreased."

Grid integration

In Europe and America wherein RE developments are fast gaining ground, the grid integration of wind capacity is another area of policy focus.

According to Mr. Phil Dasalla, officer-in-charge of marketing for the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP), the feed-in tariff (FiT) will be the country's answer to priority dispatch and faster grid integration of RE sources.

"The feed-in tariff has been discussed during the deliberations on the IRR, although the formula has yet to be drawn by the ERC (Energy Regulatory Commission)," he said. The proposed feed-in tariff shall be fixed for 12 years, with the industry regulator's approval. This shall guarantee a 'must dispatch' for intermittent RE sources, primarily wind and hydro, policy advocates averred.

In Mr. Santos' view, "feed-in-tariff must be shared by all consumers, similar to other countries, such as Germany," adding that for the Philippine market, the Wholesale Electricity Spot Market (WESM), "can be the counter-party for all FiT renewable energy sources."

In more developed energy markets, efforts are also being elevated into setting up "super grids" to increase transmission capacity while reducing spatial footprints and right-of-way requirements for power projects. Technology experiments are being done on superconducting power cables, with the integration of RE sources a priority in the minds of policymakers. While expensive at first, the expectation is that, cost impacts may eventually wane - both for the investors and consumers.

Philippine Renewable Energy Agenda Commended

From Manila Bulletin
Posted date: Nov 10, 210

MANILA, Philippines - The Philippines is endowed with an abundance of renewable energy resources. Rice, coconut, and sugarcane crops generate volumes of residues that can be utilized as fuel. Many parts of the country have great potential for harnessing wind energy. And its location just above the equator, it has abundant sunshine, which can be tapped for solar energy.

When Republic Act 9513, the Renewable Energy Act of 2008, was signed into law on December 16, 2008, Moody's, a United States ratings agency, cited it as a big step in the right direction. The Renewable Energy Law provides the framework for the adoption of a strategic program to tap viable sources of renewable energy, with the Department of Energy taking the lead. Although clean energy is expensive to produce, governments and the public see it also a means to make profits and create jobs.

As early as 2007, energy projects initiated by the Philippines had attracted financiers, clean energy experts, and representatives of financial institutions all over the world. The energy we generate from geothermal and hydro resources has significantly reduced the country's dependency on imported and polluting fuels. We have also begun solar, wind, and biomass energy programs.

The Philippines' Renewable Energy Agenda was commended by the Asian Development Bank at a recent trade fair and conference held in Singapore. The ADB expressed optimism that the Philippines will be able to sustain the momentum in its development and promotion of renewable energy.

The Philippines is on track in its development of renewable energy. We have the needed resources and with the passage of the Renewable Energy Law, we have shown our commitment to join and even to take a leading role in this global initiative.


Aquino seeks private sector help in alternative energy

By Abigail Kwok
Posted date: December 02, 2010

MANILA, Philippines -- Acknowledging that the country's power situation is at a "critical juncture," President Benigno Aquino III on Thursday sought the help of the private sector in government's efforts of tapping into alternative sources of energy.

Speaking during the opening of the Renewable Energy Conference and Expo 2010 in Makati City, Aquino promised incentives for those in the private sector who will extend support to the government.

"We will not let your sacrifices go to waste; we will not allow your hard work to be taken for granted. There will be results. This we will make sure of, so that the people in this sector, present here today or not, may be invigorated in their profession, and may renew their own energies in working for the Filipino people," Aquino said in his speech.

Aquino stressed the importance of public-private partnerships to help the government build more plants that will supply energy to far-flung communities.

Aquino said that the country is rich in alternative sources of energy such as hydropower, geothermal, biomass, solar and wind, trailing only behind United States as the world's largest supplier of geothermal energy.

Aquino said that the country is rich in alternative sources of energy such as hydropower, geothermal, biomass, solar and wind, trailing only behind United States as the world's largest supplier of geothermal energy.

These alternative sources of energy should be tapped, Aquino said, as electricity is becoming all the more "unreliable" due to lack of investments, retirement of several power plants, and even climate change.

"As I have said, the natural potential bestowed upon our country is impressive, but there is work to be done so that these resources can be harnessed well. The necessary infrastructure should also be established in compliance with our laws to benefit as many Filipinos as possible," Aquino said in his speech.

With the aid of Republic Act 9513 (Philippine Renewable Energy Law), Aquino said renewable energy got a boost with the awarding of over 200 renewable energy contracts, 33 of which are already operating.

"We will not stop working until the operation of all these projects is ensured. We will continue making opportunities for similar renewable energy projects that will ultimately pay more dividends to the Filipino people," Aquino said.


Gov't set to complete energy plan

By Amy R. Remo
Philippine Daily Inquirer
Posted date: December 02, 2010

MANILA, Philippines-The government is set to come out with a blueprint on energy where as much as 80 percent of the country's power requirements may come from renewable energy sources within the next 20 years, said Energy Secretary Jose Rene D. Almendras.

Speaking before delegates and guests at the Renewable Energy Forum held Thursday, Almendras admitted that the country, for now, would need to rely on fossil fuels, such as coal, for its baseload power generation.

Under the renewable energy plan, the Department of Energy hopes that by 2015-when power supply is expected to have stabilized with the completion of new power facilities-most of the country's energy requirements will come from renewable energy sources.

Almendras said that P902.5 billion would be needed to develop the country's renewable energy sources such as biomass, geothermal, solar, hydro, ocean and wind.

Based on studies made by prospective project proponents, at least 8,000 megawatts are expected to be generated from renewable energy sources between 2010 and 2030.

"Demand for energy will continue to increase as the country pursues the sustainable development path.... Renewable energy will not only help address this demand but also provide the necessary balance between development and environmental sustainability. The government so far has generated investment commitments of over P80 billion for RE projects," Almendras said.

Under the 2011 Renewable Energy Plan, which is set to be completed in the first quarter of next year, the government will begin putting in place incentives and mechanisms to further entice investors in pushing through with their projects.

Also being developed are mechanisms for renewable energy host communities and incentives for local government units.


Battle-proof Wind Farms Survive Japan's Trial by Fire

Kelly Rigg
Executive Director, GCCA
Posted: March 17, 2011 02:34 PM

As the world collectively holds its breath to see how the Fukushima crisis plays out (the quote of the dayhas got to be: "The worst-case scenario doesn't bear mentioning and the best-case scenario keeps getting worse...") there's a positive story which is not yet being reported.

Despite assertions by its detractors that wind energy would not survive an earthquake or tsunami the Japanese wind industry is still functioning and helping to keep the lights on during the Fuksuhima crisis.

I've been directly corresponding with Yoshinori Ueda leader of the International Committee of the Japan Wind Power Association & Japan Wind Energy Association, and according to Ueda there has been no wind damage reported by any association members, from either the earthquake or the tsunami. Even the Kamisu semi-offshore wind farm, located about 300km from the epicenter of the quake, survived. Its anti-earthquake "battle proof design" came through with flying colors.

Mr. Ueda confirms that most Japanese wind turbines are fully operational. Indeed, he says that electric companies have asked wind farm owners to step up operations as much as possible in order to make up for shortages in the eastern part of the country:

Eurus Energy Japan says that 174.9MW with eight wind farms (64% of their total capacity with 11 wind farms in eastern part of Japan) are in operation now. The residual three wind farms (Kamaishi 42.9MW, Takinekoshirai 46MW, Satomi 10.02MW) are stopped due to the grid failure caused by the earthquake and Tsunami. Satomi is to re-start operations in a few days. Kamaishi is notorious for tsunami disaster, but this wind farm is safe because it is locate in the mountains about 900m high from sea level.

The largest wind farm operator in Japan, Eurus Energy with about 22% of all wind turbines in Japan, is a subsidiary of Tokyo Electric Company (TEPCO) which operates the Fukushima nuclear facility. Right now, it is likely the company is very happy about its diversified portfolio:

While shares in the Tokyo stock market have fallen during the crisis, the stock price of Japan Wind Development Co. Ltd. has risen from 31,500 yen on 11 March to 47,800 yen on 16 March.

Japan's Wind Turbines Survive 1,000 Year Earthquake Unscathed

Matthew McDermott, New York, NY
Posted: March 18, 2011

It'd be very difficult to exaggerate the scale of damage caused by the Japanese trifecta disaster of earthquake-tsunami-nuclear power plant crisis, but in the middle of it all there's one small bright spot: Japan's wind turbines have survived it all unscathed, with operators being asked to step up operations where possible to help with electricity shortfalls.

Over at HuffingtonPost, Kelly Rigg says,

Colleagues and I have been directly corresponding with Yoshinori Ueda leader of the International Committee of the Japan Wind Power Association & Japan Wind Energy Association, and according to Ueda there has been no wind facility damage reported by any association members, from either the earthquake or the tsunami. Even the Kamisu semi-offshore wind farm, located about 300km from the epicenter of the quake, survived. Its anti-earthquake "battle proof design" came through with flying colors.

That said, as of yesterday, three of Japan's eleven wind farms had been shut down due to grid failure. In total Japan has about 275 MW of wind power capacity, with 175 MW currently producing.

Go wind power!

Ayala to go into power generation

By Amy R. Remo
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 12:07:00 03/17/2011
Filed Under: Electricity Production & Distribution, business, Energy

MANILA, Philippines-Conglomerate Ayala Corp. plans to put up power facilities that can generate over 1,000 megawatts of electricity over the next five years.

In a disclosure to the Philippine Stock Exchange, Ayala Corp. president and chief operating officer Fernando Zobel de Ayala said the company plans to build its power portfolio using both renewable energy sources and traditional fossil fuels.

"We believe there are opportunities to make early-stage investments in the renewable energy space which may have the potential to grow over time given the need to develop alternative sources of energy," he said.

He disclosed that in addition to Ayala's solar and wind initiatives, the company has begun developing platforms for potential hydroelectric projects.

In the same disclosure, Ayala revealed that the company's power generation arm, Michigan Power Inc. has acquired a 50 percent stake in NorthWind Power Development Corp., which owns and operates Southeast Asia's first commercial wind facility, the 33-megawatt wind farm in Bangui, Ilocos Norte.

According to the company, the stake was acquired from the existing shareholders of NorthWind.

Gov't walks tightrope on RE, power rates

By Amy R. Remo
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 22:52:00 04/10/2011
Filed Under: Energy, Electricity Production & Distribution,Government

MANILA, Philippines-Hoping to strike a balance between the need to establish a reliable supply of renewable energy (RE) and easing the burden to be shouldered by power consumers, the NationalRenewable Energy Board defended its 830-megawatt cap for RE facilities, saying that the resulting power rates would turn out to be favorable for both producers and end-users.

NREB head Pedro Maniego Jr. explained that the NREB had to be careful in setting the total allowed capacity of RE facilities that would be put up in the country over the next three years.

Because wind and solar facilities involve costly technologies, the NREB wants to keep prices just right without further burdening power consumers. The installation target will be considered in determining the viability of the proposed feed-in-tariff rates (FIT) by each sector.

"According to World Bank consultant Leonardo Lupano, Spain had to drastically reduce its solar feed rates and institute installation caps [after it installed] 3 gigawatts of so lar [facilities] within one year. The impact on Spain's electricity rates was very high. Korea also experienced similar problems," Maniego explained.

"Even German consumers are complaining that they subsidized the development of solar technology with high FITs, but China is reaping the fruits. Because of high FITs, Ontario had to resort to every procedural trick in the book to slow down the approval of solar applications. NREB would like to avoid similar problems in the Philippines," he added. Maniego also pointed out that there was a need to ensure whether the grid has enough buffer to absorb and cover for sudden losses of power supply, particularly the energy generated from wind and solar facilities.

"NREB could not recommend installation targets which are beyond the grid's absorptive capacity," he said.

According to Maniego, NREB tries to maximize the installation targets for all technologies.

"I must emphasize that the installation targets were actually determined and recommended by the Department of Energy, depending on the approved and complying service contracts or applications. NREB recommended and approved higher installation targets for all sectors, except biomass, wind and ocean," he said.

"The approval of the 830 MW installation targets was also conditional and could be adjusted depending on the Grid Impact study to be submitted by the NationalGrid Corp. of the Philippines within April."

On his part, Energy Secretary Jose Rene D. Almendras noted that the FIT rates the NREB chose were way higher than the rates being implemented in other countries. He also pointed out the disadvantages of having to sign a 20-year contract that would peg prices of power from renewable energy sources.

The technologies involved are expected to mature and become cheaper over time, Almendras said.

The energy chief also cited the disparity, between the FIT rate for solar here in the Philippines, which was around P17 per kilowatt-hour, and that of Malaysia, reported to range between P9 to P12 per kWh.

"And yet, investors are still going to Malaysia," Almendras pointed out.

All systems go for renewable energy

NREB files petition recommending FIT rates

By Amy R. Remo
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 23:11:00 05/16/2011
Filed Under: Energy, Alternative energy, business,Government

MANILA, Philippines-The National Renewable EnergyBoard has finally filed a petition recommending the feed-in-tariff rates for each resource-a move that will jumpstart the drafting of all other incentives provided under the Renewable Energy Law.

According to NREB head Pedro Maniego Jr., solar developers and ocean energy project proponents will enjoy the highest FIT rates of P17.95 per kilowatt-hour and P17.65 per kWh, respectively, based on the petition filed with the Energy Regulatory Commission on Monday.

Investors in wind development will be given a FIT rate of P10.37 per kWh; for biomass, P7 per kWh; and for hydro, P6.15 per kWh, Maniego said in an interview.

He also said that the installation targets remained the same, totaling 830 megawatts. Of the total capacity, the hydro and biomass sectors will be allowed to put up facilities that can generate a total of 500 MW or 250 MWeach; wind, 220 MW; solar 100 MW; and ocean, 10 MW.

Based on conservative estimates, Maniego said the additional universal levy (also called FIT-allowance) to be charged to all power consumers connected to the grid will be 12.57 centavos per kWh-that is if developers are able to meet the installation targets and if the P4.50 per kWh average generation cost will not balloon over the next three years due to higher fuel prices.

"If installation targets are not reached and if average generation cost increases faster than inflation, then the impact of FIT rates on the FIT-allowance would be much lower," he explained.

Once approved, the FIT-allowance will be implemented starting 2014, when all the expected renewable energyfacilities will have started operations.

Maniego, however, stressed that the installation targets were not intended to put a cap or limit on the number of generating renewable energy facilities that will be put up and on the capacities that these can produce.

"Under the FIT rules, it is primarily a trigger for ERC to review and adjust the FITs. This is to prevent over-installation should the FIT prove to be too attractive. In the case of solar, it doesn't mean that no more service contracts would be approved once the 100-MW target is reached. ERC, in consultation with NREB and Department of Energy, will need to evaluate if a downward adjustment of the FIT is necessary before approving additional installation targets," Maniego added.

FIT rates were meant to assure renewable energydevelopers of future cash flow as electricity end-users would be charged fixed amounts to cover the production of energy from renewable sources. With these rates in place, utilities can spread the cost of clean power among their customers. The system is thus expected to encourage investors to go into renewable energy production as it ensures stable pricing.

Local renewable energy developers earlier expressed dissatisfaction with the NREB petition and even warned of pulling out their investments unless the government gave them a more lucrative FIT rate or installation target.

DoE completes roadmap for renewable energy

By Amy R. Remo
Philippine Daily Inquirer
Filed Under: Energy, Alternative energy, business,Government

MANILA, Philippines-The Department of Energy has completed a national roadmap for the renewable energy industry, providing a more stable direction toward the development and more efficient use of these sources.

"The National Renewable Energy Plan (NREP) outlines the policy framework that is in the law. This will provide the strategic building blocks that would allow the Philippine renewable energy industry to fly," said Energy Undersecretary Josefina Asirit. On the sidelines of a House energy committee hearing on Tuesday, Asirit explained that the NREP would provide a "continuing and well-coordinated effort to drive development in the RE industry, to promote technological advancements, and achieve economies of scale."

Specifically, the NREP will contain targets for the renewable energy industry, the vision, mission and all other mechanisms and incentives as provided for under the Renewable Energy Law of 2008. Also included in the plan are timetables for these incentives and mechanisms, such as the RE market and RE registrar, feed-in-tariffs, renewable portfolio standards, green energy option program and net metering, among others.

In a nutshell, the NREP will allow the government to fulfill its targets, particularly when it comes to national energy security.

The RE industry needs such directions to prevent lags in the implementation of some mechanisms. For example, the feed-in tariff system should have been developed within six months of the signing of the implementing rules and regulations governing the RE Law. The law was signed in November 2009. Asirit also pointed out the need to harmonize and rationalize the entire industry as the government now expects a great number of these projects coming in over the next three years, especially with the expected issuance of the feed-in-tariffs and installation targets. Also, Asirit further disclosed that the DoE would soon sign new service contracts for RE-a positive signal to local developers eager to start work on their respective power projects.

Coastal Renewable Energy Technology Center signs MOU with Saint Francis University, Renewable Energy Center

Coastal Renewable Energy Technology Center signs MOU with Saint Francis University, Renewable Energy Center. This MOU opens the door for formal renewable energy training in the Philippines. As the 1st of its kind, students will be in contact with an international renewable energy expert giving you the latest, nuts-and-bolts information , emphasis on market perspectives, project planning and finance, economics and policy, skills and knowledge employers need you to have and lastly, a convenient and cost effective alternative to expensive travel.

The goal of its partnership is to provide working professionals with the knowledge and real-world, practical perspectives on renewable energy and alternative energy technologies necessary for a career in this fast growing new industry.

The Silent Energy [R]evolution 20 Years in the Making

By Sven Teske and Caroline Chisholm, Greenpeace
August 26, 2011

Since the late 1990s, wind and solar installations have grown faster than any other power technology across the world. But it's still too early to claim the end of fossil-based power generation.

The bright future for renewable energy that has long been predicted is already under way. Analysis of the global power plant market shows that since the late 1990s, capacities of wind and solar installations have grown faster than any other power plant technology across the world - with about 430,000 MW total installed capacity between 2000 and 2010.

But despite this impressive development, it is still too early to claim the end of fossil fuel-based power generation. Over the same timeframe more than 475,000 MW of new coal-fired power plants have been installed, with embedded cumulative emissions of over 55 billion tonnes CO2 over their technical lifetime.

On average, the global market volume of renewable energies in 2010 was as much as the total global energy market volume each year between 1970 and 2000. That said, the window of opportunity for renewables to dominate new installations replacing old plants in OECD countries as well as ongoing electrification in developing countries will close within the next years. Good renewable energy policies and legally binding CO2 reduction targets are therefore urgently needed.

An overview of the global annual power plant market of the past 40 years reveals that between 1970 and 1990, OECD countries that electrified their economies mainly with coal, gas and hydropower plants dominated the global power plant market. The power sector was then in the hands of state-owned utilities with regional or nationwide supply monopolies. The nuclear industry had a relatively short period of steady growth between 1970 and the mid-1980s - with a peak in 1985, one year before the Chernobyl accident - while during the following years the industry was in decline, with no real sign of a "nuclear renaissance," despite the rhetoric.

Between 1990 and 2000 the global power plant industry went through a series of major changes. While OECD countries began to liberalise their electricity markets, electricity demand did not match previous growth, so fewer new power plants were built. Capital-intensive projects with long payback times, such as coal and nuclear power plants, were unable to get sufficient financial support. The decade of gas power plants had begun.

Economies of developing countries, especially in Asia, began growing rapidly during the 1990s, and a new wave of power plant projects began. Like the US and Europe beofe them, most of the new markets in the 'tiger economies' of Southeast Asia partly deregulated their power sectors. A large number of new power plants in this region were built by Independent Power Producers (IPPs), which sell the electricity mainly to state-owned utilities. The dominant new built power plant technology in liberalised power markets is the gas power plant. However, over the last decade China has focused on the development of new coal power plants. Excluding China, the global power plant market has seen a phase-out of coal since the late 1990s; the growth is in gas power plants and renewables, particularly wind. Read More I Source

Renewable energy sector still a bright spot, says DoE

By: Amy R. Remo
Philippine Daily Inquirer
Sunday, September 25th, 2011

MANILA, Philippines—The Department of Energy said renewable energy remained an attractive investment destination in the country, as it vowed to push for the massive use of these resources to ensure national energy security.

Energy Secretary Jose Rene D. Almendras, however, admitted there was a need to pace the installation of renewable energy facilities, explaining that “each technology has its inherent economic and technical characteristics and must be applied to specific local realities.”

“There are also primary economic considerations that require that we pace our RE programs, learning from the difficulties experienced by other countries,” Almendras said in a statement. There are, however, available technologies that are now ready for aggressive implementation, he said.

Proof of the government’ resolve to harness renewable energy sources was the launching of the National Renewable Energy Program (NREP) in June. This, he said, marked the country’s continued pursuit for energy security through the use of renewable energy resources.

The NREP, according to Almendras, is a program anchored on the broader context of indigenous energy resource development as espoused in the Philippine Energy Plan (PEP) and the Energy Reform Agenda (ERA).

Almendras re-emphasized the need for the NREP in the context of national RE targets and trajectories in the country’s energy and power mix for the short and long term. It is also envisioned to establish a framework for existing and planned policies for the promotion of RE and a roadmap which will guide efforts toward realizing market penetration targets of each RE resource in the country.

RE use seen to translate into savings worth P130B

By: Amy R. Remo
Philippine Daily Inquirer
Tuesday, October 18th, 2011

A government official on Tuesday hit critics of renewable energy, stressing that the use of these clean resources for power generation could even result in net savings amounting to as much as P130 billion over a 20-year period.

According to National Renewable Energy Board chairman Pedro Maniego Jr., the cost of electricity generated from coal-fired power plants at present is already higher than the proposed feed-in-tariff rates of other renewable energy resources, specifically hydro and biomass power.

Citing the case of Panay Energy Development Corp., which owns and operates a 164-megawatt coal facility in Iloilo, the cost of power stood at P8.30 per kilowatt-hour as of September 2011, while the proposed FIT rate for biomass was only P7 per kWh, while that of hydropower was P6.15 per kWh.

As for other renewable energy sources that have higher FIT rates like wind and solar, their rates are expected to reach grid parity by 2017. This means that the average weighted FIT rate will be much lower than the so-called “avoided cost” from 2018 onwards.

As such, the implementation of FIT rates will then benefit the consumers by reducing the average power rates, Maniego stressed. “Avoided cost” refers to cost of power generated from fuel and coal-fired facilities that can be replaced by renewable energy sources. The avoided cost used by the NREB was only P4.50 per kWh, but this figure is expected to reach over P12 per kWh, if not higher, over the next 20 years.

While this avoided cost is expected to increase steadily, the FIT rates will be fixed for a 20-year period, thus insulating power consumers from any future hikes in coal prices. “The cost of electricity generated from coal facilities are expected to further increase over the next 20 years, as experts project coal prices to increase at a higher rate than the historical 25 to 30 percent per year, because of the expected new coal plants in Japan and most developing countries like the Philippines,” Maniego explained.

Also, the NREB chief challenged critics when they claimed that additional costs, amounting to about P8 billion, would be passed on to consumers, and that this burden would further balloon to P160 billion over the next 20 years.

“The P8 billion is wrong [when] computed using the 12.50 centavo-per-kWh FIT-allowance, as based on the old installation target of 830 MW. The latest correct figure is 10.50 centavos per kWh, based on the Department of Energy’s approved target of 760 MW,” Maniego said.

ERC Approves Feed-in tariff rates

Friday, July 27th, 2012

The Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC), on July 27, 2012, approved the initial Feed-in Tariffs (FITs) that shall apply to generation from renewable energy (RE) sources, particularly, Run-of-River Hydro, Biomass, Wind, and Solar, as follows:















The ERC, however, deferred fixing the FIT for Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion (OTEC) Resource for further study and data gathering.

The decision came after a series of public hearings ending in March this year, on the petition of the National Renewable Energy Board (NREB) for the setting of the FITs. In its petition filed on May 16, 2011, NREB proposed the following FITs:















In fixing the FITs, the ERC accepted the methodology used by NREB in calculating its proposed FITs, which takes into account, among others, the cost of constructing and operating the representative plants for each RE technology, the generation output or capacity factors of these plants, and the reasonable return on investment to be allowed the developers of these plants.

The ERC arrived at FITs substantially lower than NREB's proposed FITs for Wind and Solar after it updated the construction costs of the representative plants for these technologies to reflect the downward market trend of the costs of putting up these plants. It also adopted higher capacity factors for these plants to ensure that only the more efficient plants will enjoy the FIT incentive.

For all the RE technologies, the ERC revised other project costs such as those for the switchyard and transformers, transmission interconnection cost and access/service road cost using the same benchmarks it had employed in approving similar projects of the regulated utilities. The ERC also adopted a lower equity Internal Rate of Return (EIRR) of 16.44°/o in calculating for the FITs, except for Biomass, which was allowed a higher EIRR of 17% to account for fuel risks.

Section 7 of the Renewable Energy Act of 2008 mandates, among others, the setting of the FITs to apply to wind, solar, run-of-river hydro, biomass, and ocean RE resources. Under the FIT system, the eligible RE developers will be paid the FITs applicable to them for the energy they feed into the grid. The FITs are subject to degression to encourage the developers to invest at the initial stage and hasten deployment of renewable energy and also to avoid substantial windfall from being enjoyed by developers especially in the technologies where significant cost reductions are expected in the future.

The approved FITs shall also be subject to review and readjustment by the ERC after the initial FIT implementation of 3 years or when the installation targets for each technology as set by the Department of Energy shall have already been met.

"The ERCs lowered FITs will definitely cushion the impact of implementing the FIT incentive mechanism under the RE Act on the electricity rates, while still being sufficient enough to attract new investments in renewable energy. This is win-win for all," ERC Executive Director Francis Saturnino Juan said.