Energy dep’t seeks comment on off-grid renewable draft rules
THE DEPARTMENT of Energy (DoE) has given power industry participants until Feb. 28 to submit their comments on a draft circular covering renewable portfolio standards (RPS) for off-grid areas or those that are not connected to the national power transmission network.
“The RPS Off-Grid Rules are hereby adopted in order to contribute to the growth of the RE industry in off-grid and missionary areas by mandating electric power industry participants to source or produce a specified portion of their electricity requirements from eligible RE resources,” the DoE said.
The rules also seeks to rationalize the efficient use of the universal charge for missionary electrification (UC-ME) and improve self-efficiency in power generation through integration of RE in the supply mix in off-grid areas.
Based on the draft rules, the National Power Corp.’s small power utilities group or its “successorsin-interest” — or entities that take over the generation function of the company — are to generate, procure and subsequently maintain a minimum percentage of RE share in its portfolio consistent with the optimal supply mix prescribed in the missionary electrification development plan.
The optimal supply mix is derived from various fuel technologies that provide the supply of electricity reliably at least cost.
The minimum percentage RE share should consider the generation of all existing identified RE resources in an area; adoption of hybrid or distributed RE generation systems, whenever feasible; stable operation of existing generating units and reliability of the grid with entry of an RE generation facility consistent with existing and applicable performance standards.
The DoE said the capacity corresponding to the minimum RE generation should ensure highest penetration of RE generation while maintaining stable, reliable and adequate supply of electricity.
In the draft rules, the eligible RE facilities are those using these technologies: biomass; waste-to-energy; wind energy; solar energy; run-of-river hydroelectric power systems; impounding hydroelectric power systems; ocean energy; hybrid systems as defined in the Renewable Energy Act with respect to the RE component; geothermal energy; and other RE technologies that may be later identified by the DoE.
Annually, the minimum RE share is mandated to increase based on a simplified tool or any internationally accepted optimization software as approved by the DoE.
The DoE said resulting difference between the annual incremental RE generation for the succeeding year and the preceding year’s actual RE generation should not be lower than 1%. — Victor V. Saulon