RE market commercial operations deferred

Published October 5, 2020, 5:00 AM

by Myrna M. Velasco

The commercial operations of the country’s Renewable Energy Market (REM) for on-grid installations had been re-scheduled to June next year — factoring in a one-year delay because of the continued pummeling of the health crisis, according to the Department of Energy.

The department said it weighed on the recommendation of the Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) composite team “to recalibrate the commercial operations of the REM from June 2020 to June 2021 due to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.”

For off-grid areas, the DOE indicated that compliance to the RPS policy under year one target has been suspended.

The debut of the RE market had been aligned with this year’s implementation of the RPS policy, or the edict that will require distribution utilities to source prescribed percentage of their supply portfolio from RE capacities.

Through the RE market, mandated participants would be able to purchase renewable energy certificates (RECs) which will then form part of their compliance to the RPS policy. Trading of RE certificates shall be through the Wholesale Electricity Spot Market.

And while the operation of the RE market has been moved to next year, an official advisory issued by Energy Secretary Alfonso G. Cusi indicated that the one-year postponement shall not affect the implementation of the RPS measure for the industry.

“This shall not cause any delays to the implementation of the RPS on-grid rules since all mandated participants are still compliant with the RPS requirements for the period 2020-2022 (years 1 to 3) based on their 2019 RPS submissions,” the DOE-issued guidelines stated.

Nevertheless, the DOE qualified that it will invoke its authority “to suspend compliance of mandated participants when there is an occurrence or existence of force majeure affecting or preventing compliance with RPS requirements.”

For the initial year of the RPS policy’s enforcement for on-grid capacities, the reckoning period set by the energy department shall be from December 26, 2020 to December 25, 2021.

“RECs shall be issued by the RE registrar corresponding to generation of eligible RE facilities for the period starting 2018 and onwards,” the DOE said.

It specified that the issuance of the RE certificates shall be done by the RE registrar, which in this case, is the Philippine Electricity Market Corporation.

“RECs issued shall be valid for three (3) years based on certificate identification number,” the DOE said, further specifying that the issuance shall only be done at the commercial kick-off of the RE market by June next year. (MMV)