Every now and then, we are being threatened by electric power price hikes or, in places outside Metro Manila, brownouts. Worse, some interesting individuals also threaten electric power distribution utilities as communists or communist supporters.
Well, it is time to rethink our approach and it is time to shift to renewable energy. On October 12, 2022, individuals and organizations from various movements and sectors are converging to offer the agenda of making renewable energy a reality for all. The event, “RE Congress and Exhibit: Making the REAL deal happen”, will be held at the Institute of Civil Engineering at the University of the Philippines-Diliman.
The individuals and organizations behind the event are advocating for the following actions and innovative mechanisms to further accelerate the adoption/mainstreaming of renewable energy storage technologues while delivering lower electricity costs and stabilizing prices for consumer and for ensuring domestic energy security:
- Development of a national framework and plan and integration of the National RE Plan designed to mitigate further dependence on conventional fossil fuels and promote energy sector resilience, prioritizing the deployment of flexible and modular capacity additions, particularly using RE and EEC, and approved and implemented by the government in compliance with international commitments of the country;
- Mandatory decommissioning of aging and inefficient coal and petroleum based power plants which have recovered capital investment costs to create opportunities for the addition of new electric power generation capacity using RE and storage technologies;
- The shift towards LNG as a bridge fuel to further reduce the use of coal must be evaluated further. Safeguards must be put into place in order to mitigate potential implications related to supply availability and pricing volatility expected to persist over the next decade, such as removing the automatic fuel cost pass-through to energy consumers and end-users (similar to the fuel price risk reduction mechanisms under long-term petroleum and coal power supply agreements) which can impact the efforts towards achieving economic recovery and overall country development in the future;
- Ensure consumer protection by continuously enhancing the implementation of least-cost and technology neutral mechanisms and compliance to safeguards in the procurement of electricity supply. Domestic RE can deliver low-cost electric power at scale, as demonstrated by the successful conduct of the Green Energy Auction Program;
- Ensure the implementation of competitive selection process CSP in the process of contracting supply by distribution utilities (DUs) and rural electric cooperatives (RECs) to prevent collusion and non-competitive behavior in the electricity supply procurement. However, CSP for small power projects must be waived to promote participation of small developers, including host communities. Actions must be taken to streamline the documentary requirements and process for CSP. Consider waiving such requirements for small-scale electric power projects to promote participation of small developers, including host communities;
- Develop dedicated financing options designed to further mobilize public and private sector financial institutions in order to achieve the following: (i) advance both greenfield and scaling up of RE and EEC projects from early-stage development to full investment maturity; (ii) mitigate risks through the provision of guarantee facilities for electric power project developers, consumers, NGAs, and LGUs wanting to transition to RE and EEC; and (iii) leverage additional credit and capital market investments to business activities that will utilize RE and EEC technologies;
- The Micro-Grid Systems Act serves as a measure intended to provide coherence to the off-grid electric power procurement process and move the country towards the goal of achieving 100 percent electrification by encouraging the deployment of micro-grid systems in unserved and underserved areas. The applicability and expansion of the legislation must be further explored/harmonized to include deployments of community-based RE systems and aggregation of residential prosumers and consumers in general;
- Enhance the capability and provide adequate incentives/subsidies to the National Electrification Administration (NEA), Cooperative Development Administration (CDA), and the RECs to pursue electrification programs through the use of RE based mini-grids and micro-grid systems in geographically isolated areas; and
- Accelerate the modernization and upgrading of the local transmission and distribution systems in the country in order to fully accommodate new electric power capacity additions and facilitate the processing, evaluation, and approval of system impact studies by NGCP.