THE Department of Energy (DoE) is set to extend the feed-in tariff (FiT) allocation to complete the construction of stalled biomass and run-of-river hydropower projects.
Before signing the circular on the extension of the FiT scheme, Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi said the department needed to reconcile the remaining capacity to be subscribed for biomass and hydro technologies.
The projects in question include those lodged by the DoE and still pending before the Energy Regulatory Commission.
This came a month after Cusi expressed opposition to the scheme’s extension, arguing that it would further burden consumers and it goes against his department’s mission to reduce electricity rates.
But he later said in an interview the extension would apply to existing projects only, which could “definitely not [last for]three years.”
Last week, Energy Undersecretary Felix William Fuentebella told reporters that the DoE was looking at extending the scheme “to fill up the target capacity for run-of-river hydro or biomass [technologies].”
He said the extension would be the full subscription of the capacity-installation targets or three years, whichever comes first.
Cusi is yet to sign the National Renewable Energy Board (NREB)’s recommendation to prolong the incentive program for the two renewable energy (RE) sources after hearing the request of developers.
The NREB is the agency guiding the DoE in implementing RE initiatives in the Philippines.
As outlined in Republic Act 9513, or the Renewable Energy Act of 2008, the FiT program aims to quicken the development of emerging RE sources, such as wind, solar, ocean, run-of-river hydropower, and biomass.
Biomass and hydro technologies were given an installation target of 250 megawatts (MW).
Initially, approved run-of-river hydro and biomass rates were P5.90 and P6.63 per kilowatt hour (kWh), respectively. These were later reduced to P5.8705 per kWh for run-of-river hydro and P6.5969 per kWh for biomass.