Manila Bulletin

DOE to plot PH’s competitiv­e RE zones


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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