Senator Win Gatchalian urged distribution facilities to contract more renewable energy (RE) as such a move will benefit consumers amid prevailing global energy risks.
Gatchalian’s call follows a decision made by the Department of Energy (DOE) to increase the percentage of the utilization of RE for on-grid areas from 1% to 2.52%, which will take effect in 2023.
“This is a significant increase in utilization and should prompt distribution utilities to consider contracting more renewable energy to deter fuel pass-through amid wild fluctuations in fuel prices,” Gatchalian said, adding that the fuel cost pass-through mechanism allows recovery of fuel cost for power generation through electricity tariffs.
The development of RE resources is central to the energy department’s sustainable energy agenda. In 2021, RE accounted for 22.40% of the country’s energy mix, with coal-based power plants accounting for 58.48%, while oil-based and natural gas power plants contributed 1.52% and 17.60%, respectively.
“The time is ripe for us to accelerate the development of renewable energy in the country. Record prices of fossil fuel, as well as continuing concerns on the impact of climate change, leave us with no other viable option but to vigorously pursue the development of green energy,” Gatchalian said.
To date, a total of 998 RE contracts, generating around Php270 billion of investments have been approved by DOE. Such contracts have an aggregate installed capacity of 5,460 megawatts and a potential capacity of 61,613.81 megawatts (MW). The increase is also a mechanism designed to provide a guaranteed market for renewable energy.
“Patuloy ang pag-angat ng renewable energy dahil na rin sa paggamit ng mga bagong teknolohiya. Ang pagtutulak ng DOE na taasan pa ang utilization percentage para sa renewable energy ay dapat makahikayat sa ating mga distribution utilities sa pagkontrata ng ganitong enerhiya para na rin sa energy security ng bansa,” Gatchalian added.