Solon wants Congress to intervene in the implementation of renewable energy law

Solon wants Congress to intervene in the implementation of renewable energy law

A lawmaker said the renewable energy program of the government will fail if foreign and local investors will not get fair incentive and treatment under the renewable energy law.

In a privilege speech, Rep. Rodolfo Antonino (4th District, Nueva Ecija) urged the House Committee on Energy to conduct a probe on the alleged irregularity with regard the incentives being offered by the National Renewable Energy Board (NREB) to the investors.

Antonino said the success of the law is dependent on what incentive the government will allow the investors to gain in this field of business.

“These inventors will turn to other markets as the business environment for renewable energy is not feasible at all at the moment,” Antonino said.

At the same time, Antonino described as “highly questionable and irregular” the presence of the representative of a coal mining company in the National Renewable Energy Board (NREB).

Antonino said the NREB should explain why it allowed a representative of the coal sector to sit in the board. “Wouldn’t that be a conflict since coal is not a renewable energy source?” he asked.

According to Antonino, under Republic Act 9513 or the Renewable Energy
Act, only those in the renewable energy projects or business like geothermal, solar, wind, hydroelectric and biomass are allowed to have a representative with the NREB.

Antonino said the investors have branded as unfair, unjustified and unclear pegging of a proposed Feed-In Tariffs or FITS by NREB. The rate was submitted to the Energy Regulatory Board (ERB) for approval early this month.

“In the case of biomass project, the investors do not see any reason at all to develop the technology in the country simply because it is not economically logical anymore and they did not get a fair incentive from the NREB,” Antonino said.

“We need to look into the procedure of the NREB. We need to look into how they arrive at their computations and in setting rates for whatever energy projects,” Antonino said.

“The tariff scheme is one of the incentives under the renewable energy law. The FITS are the guaranteed price at which renewable developers will be paid for the energy that they will inject into the transmission or distribution system,” Antonino added.

Antonino said the renewable energy law seeks to promote and develop, utilize and commercialize renewable energy to help lessen the economic burden of the consumers brought about by the rising global oil prices through the discovery, development, utilization and commercialization of new renewable energy sources.

“Its goal is to achieve self-reliance in the country’s energy requirements through the exploration, development, and utilization of renewable energy resources, which includes, but is not limited to biomass, solar, wind, hydro, geothermal, and ocean energy sources or hybrid systems,” Antonino said.

“I understand that this undertaking is a delicate balancing act of public interest and the proponents. But the scale should be within an acceptable balance. I will not allow the frustration of this law, most especially because of personal interest,” Antonino added.

Antonino said the House body will invite the representatives of the Department of Energy (DOE) and the Energy Regulatory Board (ERB) and NREB to explain why it failed to identify and approve another source of energy that could help ease the burden of the consumers.

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