(The Philippine Star) | Updated December 26, 2016 - 12:00am
MANILA, Philippines – A solar developers’ group hopes to get the solar power industry out of a frozen state in 2017 as it crafts a framework – to be presented to regulators by January – to address issues hounding the feed-in tariff (FIT) scheme.
The newly-inaugurated Confederation of Solar Developers of the Philippines (CSDP) is crafting a framework for future solar power projects, its president Reynaldo Casas said in a recent interview.
“We have the framework (but) it’s subject to more validation. We need to validate the concept with regulatory bodies. First with NREB (National Renewable Energy Board),” Casas said.
“We are in a hurry because we want to make sure the industry is not in a frozen state as it is today. Nobody’s moving,” he said.
The solar industry hit a snag as controversies surrounded the second round of FIT for solar (solar FIT-2) that resulted in over 300 megawatts (MW) of stranded projects. Solar developers have been asking the government to include the overcapacity in the FIT system.
FIT is a set of incentives given to power developers for a period of 20 years to invest in the more expensive renewable energy (RE) sector.
“The issue of a third FIT is another dimension. CSDP has crafted a concept that we will advocate to the regulatory bodies in lieu of a third FIT—it’s like a principle of auctioning but more regionally. It’s a different concept altogether,” he said.
To address concerns of solar players, the Energy department has formed an investigating committee to thoroughly study the implementation of the solar FIT-2 following complaints lodged by solar companies.
This is a welcome development for CSDP as this will clear the concerns of the whole industry.
We’re very pleased to see that some regulatory bodies have started responding to our call as confederation…We are working through the committee. Unlike in the past, individual proponents are looking with one individual within the regulatory body. But this time, we as a confederation are being met by the committee,” Casas said.
Another setback for the solar industry is Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi’s pronouncement that government is not keen on expanding the FIT system by another round as this will only add burden to consumers already paying high electricity rates.