Greenpeace, WWF cheer FIT rates
MANILA, Philippines—Environment group Greenpeace and leading renewable energy advocate World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF-Philippines) have hailed the issuance of the feed-in-tariff (FIT) rates that are seen paving the way for increased use of renewable energy in the country.
In a statement, Greenpeace said that with the FIT rates now in place, there was “no reason to proceed with more coal power projects. Other neighboring countries like Thailand and Malaysia, where FIT rates have been approved, are seeing an increase in development and mainstreaming of RE.”
These FIT rates, which were issued by the Energy Regulatory Commission last week, are critical in ensuring the viability of an RE project as these will ensure fixed cash flows over the next 20 years.
WWF-Philippines Climate Change Programme director Gia Ibay, meanwhile, stressed that the Philippines was a fossil fuel-poor country and thus, investing in RE will help shield Filipinos from the “volatility of the fossil fuel market while taking advantage of what we have been endowed with.”
A study by WWF showed that the country can develop an additional 1,200 megawatts of geothermal capacity; 2,308 MW of hydropower; 235 MW of biomass and 7,404 MW of wind power capacities in the next 10 years.
WWF also said that the estimated increase in power rates that will be borne by end power consumers with the issuance of FIT rates was “marginal” compared to the expected increase in the cost of traditional fossil fuels like coal over the long term.
Based on WWF’s figures, the estimated impact of FIT on power rates would only be 5 centavos per kilowatt-hour, as against the electricity hikes of 69.04 centavos per kWh in Luzon, 60.60 centavos per kWh in the Visayas, and 4.42 centavos per kWh in Mindanao just a few months ago—a “vicious trend which is bound to get worse if fossil fuels such as coal succeed in dominating our power sector.”
“Philippine electricity rates continue to increase almost on a quarterly basis and at much larger amounts too than the FIT [rates]. We need to ask ourselves what causes this. Is it because of renewable energy or is it because of an over-reliance on a fossil fuel based system,” added WWF-International Asia Pacific energy policy manager Rafael Senga.
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