DOE project luring users to directly buy renewable energy falls flat
The Department of Energy (DOE) will revise the rules governing a program that allows users to directly buy power from renewable energy sources as it is proving unpopular.
“The DOE’s expectation on this matter is it’s quite slow on pace because there are some provisions under the ERC (Energy Regulatory Commission) rules that are not [in harmony with the] DOE rules and for that reason, [the uptake] slowed down a bit,” said Jordan Ballaran, senior science research specialist at the DOE’s renewable energy management bureau.
Renewable Energy Act of 2008
The Green Energy Option Program (GEOP) allows electricity end-users with an average monthly peak demand of at least 100 kilowatts to directly contract 100 percent of their energy requirements from renewable energy sources. It is one of the voluntary mechanisms provided under the Renewable Energy Act of 2008.GEOP, which seeks to help the country reduce its dependence on imported energy sources, was first introduced in 2018. It currently has 120 participants in Luzon and 38 in the Visayas, mostly from the manufacturing sector.
Per the DOE policy, retail electricity suppliers only need a permit from the department to join the program, but guidelines from the ERC require them to secure permits from both agencies.
Ballaran added it would take customers more than four months before they could begin sourcing electricity from the supplier, longer than the one-month time frame under the retail competition and open access program, which allows certain customers to enter the competitive retail electricity market.
According to Ballaran, the revised rules are targeted to be released by the first quarter of next year and the DOE will solicit comments or suggestions from industry stakeholders through public consultations.
—Jordeene B. Lagare
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