Manila Bulletin

DOE to plot PH’s com­pet­i­tive RE zones

- By MYRNA M. VE­LASCO Renewable Energy · Solar Power · Clean Tech · Ecology · Energy · Environmental Economics · Business · Industries · United States Department of Energy · Philippines · United States of America · United States Agency for International Development · United States Agency for International Development · Visayas · National Transmission Corporation · Granite State Electric Company · National Renewable Energy Laboratory

The De­part­ment of En­ergy (DOE) will be de­mar­cat­ing com­pet­i­tive re­new­able en­ergy zones (CREZ) in var­i­ous parts of the coun­try, so the in­stal­la­tions of vari­able RE projects could be ef­fi­ciently in­te­grated into power grids.

The CREZ, ac­cord­ing to the de­part­ment, is an­chored on the tar­get of the coun­try to scale up RE de­vel­op­ments, es­pe­cially so since the manda­tory Re­new­able Port­fo­lio Stan­dards (RPS) will al­ready be on full im­ple­men­ta­tion this year.

The CREZ de­lin­eation in the Philip­pines by the DOE, is be­ing pur­sued in col­lab­o­ra­tion with the Na­tional Re­new­able En­ergy Lab­o­ra­tory (NREL), an at­tached agency of the United States’ De­part­ment of En­ergy (US-DOE); and it is also sup­ported by the United States Agency for In­ter­na­tional Devel­op­ment (USAID).

In the past in­stal­la­tions, pri­mar­ily for so­lar projects in the Visayas re­gion, lack of plan­ning on the vari­able REs’ in­te­gra­tion into the grid had af­fected not only power sys­tem re­li­a­bil­ity; but also caused rev­enue losses on the part of the project spon­sor- rms.

With CREZ, the DOE said it will iden­tify “the most eco­nomic RE re­source ar­eas so trans­mis­sion plan­ning and ex­pan­sion can ac­cel­er­ate their devel­op­ment.”

Such core of trans­mis­sion plan­ning must also co­a­lesce with the projects’ roll­out of the Na­tional Grid Cor­po­ra­tion of the Philip­pines

(NGCP) and must be har­mo­nized with the re­quired reg­u­la­tory ap­provals – be­cause the sys­tem op­er­a­tor can­not in­ject these in­vest­ments with­out

rst se­cur­ing the go-sig­nal of the En­ergy Reg­u­la­tory Com­mis­sion.

Ac­cord­ing to the en­ergy de­part­ment, “by proac­tively fo­cus­ing trans­mis­sion ex­pan­sion to these re­source ar­eas, RE gen­er­a­tion devel­op­ment ob­sta­cles such as trans­mis­sion ac­cess, en­ergy cur­tail­ment, land per­mit­ting (i.e. in pro­tected or high-slope ar­eas), and reg­u­la­tory bar­ri­ers are eas­ier to over­come.”

It added that with proper plan­ning on the trans­mis­sion side of the en­tire RE in­vest­ment chain, this could “re­duce risk for pri­vate sec­tor RE in­vest­ments.”

The DOE em­pha­sized “new trans­mis­sion stem­ming from the CREZ process will help all RE re­sources in the Philip­pines – in­clud­ing wind, so­lar, geo­ther­mal, biomass and hy­dropower.”

The DOE fur­ther noted the CREZ will com­ple­ment other poli­cies un­der­pin­ning the de­ploy­ment of smallscale and dis­trib­uted RE re­sources; while also serv­ing as a tool to cost-ef­fec­tively ac­cel­er­ate de­ploy­ment of the larger scale RE in­stal­la­tions.

Be­yond RPS, the en­ergy de­part­ment is like­wise ramp­ing up RE de­vel­op­ments on the sphere of net me­ter­ing and the green en­ergy op­tion pro­gram (GEOP), poli­cies that give con­sumers the power of choice on pa­tron­iz­ing RE as their source of elec­tric­ity service.

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