By Myrna M. Velasco
The Department of Energy (DOE) is firming up a “template contract” that shall guide Renewable Energy (RE) industry players in their offer of capacity or ‘clean energy supply’ to consumers.
In line with this, the department is undertaking public consultations with stakeholders so it can gather inputs on its mandated crafting of the template contract. Currently scheduled are those in Cebu City, Davao City, Batangas and Clark, Pampanga within this June until next month.
This is being done under the ambit of the Green Energy Option Program (GEOP) that was concretized as a policy for the RE sector since September last year – the enforcement of which is now done on voluntary basis.
“To ensure the compliance and successful implementation, the template of the GEOP supply contract will be presented to serve as guidance to GEOP participants,” the DOE said.
GEOP per se will bestow that “power of choice” on consumers to patronize RE as source of their electricity supply – and that could be procured directly from the RE generators.
That is similar to the principle of the Retail Competition and Open Access (RCOA) that is being instituted in the power industry – although for RCOA, it has to follow thresholds before it can get down to the level of households; while for GEOP, it is envisioned that even residential end-users can already opt for that so-called “green energy choice.”
In addition to the “template contract” framing, the DOE indicated that it will also be getting stakeholders’ pulse and inputs on the issuance of “operating permit” to RE suppliers.
According to the department, the GEOP “intends to increase the use of RE to optimize the power supply mix of off-grid areas that are usually served by expensive diesel plants.”
RE facilities, including the hybrid systems, are currently being pushed as the technology option for island-grids as well as far-flung areas which for the longest time had been leaning on subsidies just so they can be served with their electricity needs.
Carrying out the “green energy option” policy broadly coincides with the implementation of the Renewable Portfolio Standards (RPS), another edict that will boost capacity off-take from RE plants.
The ‘inception year’ for the RPS will be 2020, when major addition to RE capacity will be concretized because the distribution utilities (DUs) are mandated to procure certain percentage of their supply portfolio from RE generating facilities.