Solar firms oppose lower FIT incentive

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SOLAR companies are up-in-arms over the plan to imposed lower feed-in-tariff (FIT) rates under the second wave of incentives for solar power.

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“The next question is: What is the next round of rates? And that is part of the process of a review,” Tetchie Capellan, president of the Philippine Solar Producers Association (PSPA) told reporters over the weekend, saying the next round of rates should be carefully studied.

The FIT subsidy is important as solar power technology is quite expensive, Capellan explained.

“All we are saying is that we should be indexed into technologies that are more expensive,” she added.

The Department of Energy (DOE) has set lower incentives for the next batch of power projects that will qualify for the expanded solar power installation capacity under the FIT scheme.

Regulators approved the P9.68 per kilowatt per hour (kWh) FIT incentive for the first solar power project. But the DOE earlier indicated a lower rate of P8.69 per kWh applicable to the next 71 megawatts (MW) to 500 MW.

“What the other investors are getting, I think we should also be getting especially because we are contributing to climate change mitigation. We have that role to play, we have a social benefit in terms of the environment,” she said.

“I mean like they are giving subsidy to another technology and they are pressuring solar to take in a lower tariff,” Capellan added.

In crafting a roadmap to 2030, Capellan noted what they want to do is rationalize the growth of solar power and how it can help add capacity to the grid.

“That’s why we already included batteries, because with battery we can achieve baseload capacity,” she said.

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