Renewable Energy Act’s amended rules out this month, says DOE
The Department of Energy (DOE) is planning to issue the amended guidelines of the Renewable Energy Act of 2008 no later than November to fast-track clean energy use in the country.
“It will be [out] soon. After [tropical storm ‘Paeng’] passes, we’ll work on it again, but hopefully [we will issue] within November this year,” Energy Undersecretary Felix William Fuentebella said.
“We’re now consolidating all the comments and we are drafting their responses to be posted on the website of DOE and then it will be routed for complete staff work,” Energy Assistant Secretary Mylene Capongcol added.
The DOE had just completed public consultations to solicit comments or inputs from industry stakeholders on the proposed changes to the law’s implementing rules and regulations (IRR).
Capongcol said earlier a critical revision could be the removal of Section 19 of the IRR (Department Circular No. DC2009-05-0008), which read: “All forces of potential energy and other natural resources are owned by the State and shall not be alienated.”
The draft also states that 60-percent Filipino ownership, as prescribed in the 1987 Constitution, is only limited to projects that harness hydropower and geothermal resources.
“The IRR amendment does not only focus on the changes in the inexhaustible indigenous resources that are clean—basically, ocean, wind and solar—but it also aims to provide the usual questions on whether or not biomass is open to 100-percent foreign participation. It also provides an answer for geothermal, whether or not it’s open for 100-percent participation [and] how it can be done,” Fuentebella said.
The amendments will form part of the government’s aggressive push to scale up the utilization of renewable sources nationwide.
This was also the Supreme Court’s legal advice to the DOE before the country could allow foreign investors to fully own renewable energy projects. The high court earlier ruled that exploration, development and utilization of inexhaustible “green” energy sources were not covered by the 40-percent foreign equity limit.
The renewable space has already amassed P270.8 million in investments as of June this year, with solar accounting for P130.4 million of the total.
A total of 998 renewable energy contracts with a combined installed capacity of 5,460.59 megawatts (MW) and a potential capacity of 61,613.81 MW have also been awarded to several parties.
The government is targeting to increase the renewable energy share in the energy mix to 35 percent by 2030 and further to 50 percent by 2040.