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Read the latest news articles and stories featuring IBEC and the Philippine biomass energy industry.

21 January 2015 in The Philippine Star
DOE endorses 14 RE projects for FIT eligibility

By Iris C. Gonzales (The Philippine Star) | Updated January 21, 2015 – 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Energy (DOE) has endorsed 14 renewable energy projects to the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) as eligible for the feed-in tariff (FIT) scheme.

The move is part of efforts to promote renewable energy (RE) in the country.

The projects – five biomass facilities, three hydropower plants, two solar plants and four wind farms – have also been issued certificates of endorsements (COE) and have a total FIT capacity of 304.051 megawatts, according to the DOE.

FIT is a set of incentives given to RE players. Under this system, RE companies are entitled to the following FIT rates: P9.68 per kwh for solar power, P8.53 per kwh for wind and P5.90 per kwh for run-of-river hydroelectric power.

Energy Secretary Carlos Jericho Petilla is encouraging the development of more RE projects, saying the application process has been shortened to nearly 45 days from 100 days previously.

He said since last year, the DOE has been increasing the number of projects given COEs.

“This trend reflects the behavior of the energy sector as well as the entrance of new technologies that simplifies the construction of RE facilities,” Petilla said.

The DOE said with the acceleration in the processing period, more private companies are expressing interest in developing potential RE areas in the country.

The biomass projects given COEs are the 19-MW bagasse-fired cogeneration facility of Green Future Innovations Inc. with FIT capacity of three MW; the 14.8-MW Montalban landfill methane recovery and power generation facility of Montalban Methane Power Corp., with FIT capacity of 2.175 MW; the 1.2-MW Payatas landfill methane recovery and power generation facility of Pangea Green Energy Philippines Inc., with FIT capacity of 0.876 MW; the 3.6-MW biomass gasification plant of Lucky PPH International Inc. with a FIT capacity of 3.60 MW and the 24-MW San Jose City rice husk-fired biomass plant of San Jose City I Power Corp. with FIT capacity of 9.9 MW.

The hydropower projects that received COEs are the Irisan 1 hydroelectric plant of Hedcor Inc. with FIT capacity of 3.8 MW; the Tudaya 2 hydroelectric plant, also by Hedcor with FIT capacity of seven MW; and the Commonal Uddiawan hydroelectric power plant of Smith Bell Mini Hydro Corp. with FIT capacity of 1.80 MW.

For solar projects, the DOE has issued COEs to the San Carlos power project Phase A of San Carlos Solar Energy Inc. with FIT capacity of 13 MW and San Carlos power project Phase B of the same company with FIT capacity of nine MW.

Wind projects that received COEs are the Bangui Bay wind power project Phase 3 of Northwind Power Development Corp. with FIT capacity of 18.9 MW; the Burgos Wind Project Phase 1 of Energy Development Corp. with FIT capacity of 87 MW; the Burgos wind project Phase 2, also of EDC with FIT capacity of 63 MW and the Caparispisan wind power project of North Luzon Renewable Energy Corp. with FIT capacity of 81 MW.

Petilla said the DOE would continue to monitor the FIT applications alongside its campaign for sustainable development.

05 January 2015 in rappler.com
Effective January 2015: New electric bill for renewable energy

Effective January: New electric bill for renewable energy

Consumers will pay an additional P0.406/kWh in electricity rates, representing the feed-in tariff allowance as mandated by the Renewable Energy Act of 2008

MANILA, Philippines – Despite a pending petition before the Supreme Court (SC), the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) released on January 1 its provisional approval of the feed-in tariff allowance (FIT-All) billing for all on-grid electricity consumers.

Thus, consumers will pay starting this month an additional P0.406 ($0.0091*) per kilowatt hour (kWh) in electricity rates, ERC said in its 27-page decision released January 1.

The rate will be collected from electricity end-users, reflected as a separate item in their electricity bills, as mandated by the Renewable Energy Act of 2008 (RA 9513).

The FIT-All is set as an incentive for renewable energy (RE) developments such as those on wind, run-of-river hydro, solar, and biomass facilities.

In October 2014, ERC issued an order provisionally approving the application of the National Transmission Corporation (TransCo) to collect FIT-All payments.

Wind power developers are entitled to FIT rate of P8.53 ($0.19) per kWh; solar for P9.68 ($0.22) per kWh; hydro at P5.90 ($0.13) per kwh; and biomass at P6.63 ($0.15) per kWh.

The collection will be placed in a fund to be administered by TransCo in a bid to “resolve the issue that public fund[s] should be handled by [a] public entity,” ERC said.

ERC said the public funds will be managed by a government-owned and -controlled company and not by the private, Sy-controlled National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP).

Violating consumer rights

In a petition filed on December 19, 2014 before the High Court, petitioner and lawyer Remigio Michael “Mike” Ancheta argued that the additional line item in the consumers’ electric bills violates the Constitution and must be nullified.

Ancheta added that the manner it will be collected violates consumer rights, because it bills consumers for power that has yet to be generated and consumed.

The “erroneous” “advance collection” amounts to around P2.7 billion ($60.27 million*) or P230 million ($5.13 million) monthly for 2015, Ancheta said.

A Manila Electric Company (Meralco) residential customer consuming 200 kWh a month would be charged an additional P8.12 ($0.18)* monthly, Ancheta added.

While the RA 9513 is “laudable,” Ancheta said it does not call for advance billing.

The FIT shall be paid only for “electricity produced,” which means its production is not “at a future time,” Ancheta said, citing Section 7(e) of the RE Law and Section 5(c)(3) of the RE Law implementing rules and regulations.

FIT benefits

But industry experts argued that while FIT does spell out an extra few centavos in additional power rates, it, nonetheless, encourages more renewable energy plants to be built.

Renewable energy plants help temper prices in the WESM (Wholesale Electricity Spot Market) RE prices are not affected by market volatility.

The Department of Energy (DOE) said 2014 was a banner year for RE with the commissioning of large-scale power plants throughout the country for solar (22 megawatt [MW] San Carlos Solar Power Project in Negros) and wind power plants (in Ilocos Norte: 33MW Northwind Power Project; 150MW Burgos Wind Power Project; and 81MW Caparispisan Wind Power Project; and 54MW San Lorenzo Wind Power Project in Guimaras).

To date, total installed capacity of RE on-grid stood at 5,396.82MW.

DOE also awarded a total of 638 RE projects with a total potential capacity of 10,068.031MW. – Rappler.com

08 October 2014 in bworldonline.com
Isabela Biomass Plant Scheduled for Completion ‘Early 2015’

A 20-MEGAWATT (MW) biomass project in the province of Isabela being developed by Isabela Biomass Corp. (IBEC) is expected to be operational next year, an official from the Energy department said on Thursday last week.

Mario C. Marasigan, the director of the department’s Renewable Energy Management Bureau, said IBEC finally proceeded with development of its maiden project in the province.

“Site development started in September last year but actual construction just began last December,” Mr. Marasigan said in a text message when asked for updates on the project.

“It will be completed early 2015,” he added, putting project cost at P2 billion.

IBEC, in April last year, held a groundbreaking ceremony for the power plant. The 20-MW project is being built in Barangay Burgos in the municipality of Alicia.

FEEDSTOCK
IBEC, according to the Energy department, is a company established by a group of six rice millers in Isabela.

The feedstock that will be used for the plant will come from the businesses of these rice millers, according to Mr. Marasigan.

“IBEC is a group of six big rice millers in Isabela. The feedstock that will be used for the power plant will come from their businesses,” Mr. Marasigan said.

The official further said the project, once completed, will be applied for feed-in tariff (FIT) coverage.

Under the FIT, renewable energy developers will dispatch the capacity of their projects to the grid at a fixed rate for a period of 20 years.

The Energy Regulatory Commission approved, in July 2012, FIT rates for run-of-river hydro (P5.90 per kilowatt-hour); biomass (P6.63/kWh); wind (P8.53/kWh); and solar (P9.68/kWh).

The rates are based on the assigned installation ceilings per technology which total 750 MW. Run-of-river hydro and biomass projects are allocated 250 MW each, wind power at 200 MW, and solar power at 50 MW.

Data from the Energy department, however, showed that as of end-December, a total of 63 service contracts with total capacity of 616.83 MW have already been granted to biomass project developers alone. — Claire-Ann Marie C. Feliciano

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