Pursuing renewable energy (RE) will not increase electricity rates, the Department of Energy (DoE) said on Thursday.
The assurance came after Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi said Department Circular DC2017-12-0015—which details the rules governing the establishment of the Renewable Portfolio Standards (RPS) for on-grid areas—has a “no higher rates” provision and outlined various safety nets to protect consumers.
Signed on December 22, the circular mandates all distribution utilities (DUs), retail electricity suppliers and other participants, including power-generation companies serving directly connected customers, to get a certain percentage of their electricity requirements from eligible RE sources.
These include biomass; waste-to-energy technology; wind, solar, ocean and geothermal energy; run-of-river and impounding hydroelectric power systems; and other globally accepted resources and technologies as specified in Republic Act (RA) 9513, or the Renewable Energy Act of 2008.
Power supply should be secured through a competitive selection process that would ensure that the provision is imposed amd a transparent mechanism determining the least cost of acquiring supply is implemented.
DUs are also obliged to seek the optimal supply mix and ensure a level playing field among power developers.
“Essentially, all the RE options available, like encouraging net-metering installations and implement the Green Energy Option program that empowers a customer to choose RE as part of its supply, should be explored,” DoE said.
The circular was anchored on the country’s aspirational RE share target of 35 percent in the energy mix by 2030. This will be reviewed under the National Renewable Energy Program (NREP)’s forthcoming update.
The minimum RE sourcing will not be enforced until 2020, as 2018 and 2019 are regarded as transition years in order to prepare participants in developing compliance plans on the minimum RPS requirements.
DoE, through a composite team, will assess rules to ensure compliance, determine the impact on consumers, and establish whether the imposed minimum RE generation requirement should continue or be adjusted.