It’s been almost a year since the National Renewable Energy Board (NREB) in the Philippines filed the Feed in Tariff (FIT) to the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) for approval of the rates. The Energy Regulatory Commission's actions for the past two days indicate that this time it could pass.
On Tuesday, the National Renewable Energy Board Technical head took the witness stand. Being an adverse witness for VECO (Visayan Electric Co), the opposition questioned the calculations done by NREB, asking how the studies were done in technologies such as wind for example, how the NREB came up with the capacity factor of 25% when it saw that Northwind Company in the Ilocos region (the first wind farm in the Philippines) had less of that in the first few years of operation, then they dwelled on the NREL data of the U.S. which showed the 40% capacity factor. Another point was that data about ocean renewable energy technology used numbers that were obtained from a experimental ocean energy project in Hawaii. They cited that there was no actual Philippine data that can verify assumptions.
Lastly VECO questioned the assumptions on the calculations of FIT rates for all renewable energy technologies -- the FIT Dashboard calculator. VECO said that that if items like contingency risk (for example) were actually lower, it would lower possible FIT rates. For solar the downward price trend of solar PV made them point out that the solar FIT rate is too high.
On day two of the hearing, VECO summarized its presentation, stating why it wants to prioritize Biomass and Small Hydro and hold of on establing a FIT for some other technologies like wind and solar. (It should be noted that the VECO representative in Aboitiz Company has a close connection to hydro plants.)
By the end of the presentation, the opposition was given five days to comment on the presentation and give its formal offer for the commission. NREB was also given five days to comment on the presentation by VECO.
After all comments have been filed, the ERC has 90 days to decide where FIT rates will be set. The smiling faces of the developers in the room showed that a FIT is almost here.
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