Renewable companies gear up for DoE’s green energy auction

 Renewable companies gear up for DoE’s green energy auction

RENEWABLE Energy companies are weighing their participation in the Green Energy Auction Program (GEAP) after the Department of Energy (DoE) finally launched the rules governing the program after a lengthy delay.

“We support GEAP as it aims to bolster the RE capacity share in the country’s energy portfolio. With our expansion plans, SN Aboitiz Power (SNAP) is well-positioned to meet this demand,” Joseph S. Yu, SNAP Group President and CEO, told BusinessWorld in an e-mail.

AC Energy President and CEO John Eric T. Francia said they are expecting the GEAP to boost the participants’ Renewable Portfolio Standards.

“GEAP should help industry participants comply with Renewable Portfolio Standards, but we also hope that the Renewable Energy Market is implemented soonest, to allow the market mechanism for the trading of renewable energy certificates,” he said in a Viber message.

First Gen Corp. Vice President Carlos L. Vega said the company is looking at its renewable energy (RE) projects particularly hydro and geothermal in anticipation of participation in the GEAP.

“We expect GEAP to help address uncertainties in the market that challenge the feasibility of RE projects,” Mr. Vega said in a Viber message.

The GEAP is a new market development support program which aims to promote RE as one of the country’s primary sources of energy through competitive selection of RE facilities.

The program, however, has already been delayed for five months from its initial targeted launch in June.

The DoE postponed the scheduled launch in October to complete “ongoing discussions with relevant entities.”

On Friday, the Department of Energy announced that Secretary Alfonso G. Cusi signed the revised GEAP policies on Nov. 3. They took effect on Dec. 5.

“The implementation of GEAP is seen encouraging greater private sector participation in the generation sector through RE. With GEAP, the country’s RE program will be met particularly in targeting attainment of 35% RE share in the generation mix by 2030,” Mr. Cusi said in a statement.

The policy allows qualified participants from on-grid areas that generate power from biomass, wind, solar, hydro, ocean, geothermal, and waste-to-energy.

The DoE said companies need to await the notice of auction as the auction rules are not yet set.

DoE Renewable Energy Management Bureau Director Mylene C. Capongcol told BusinessWorld in a text message that there is no certainty whether the Notice of Auction can be issued in December.

“Hopefully we can start the process before the year ends, but I can’t tell,” Ms. Capongcol said.

“There are things that have to be reviewed by the DoE. We wanted to make sure we have robust policy and guidelines, but the decision (to publish it or not this year) is beyond my authority,” she added.

The decision on the auction notice will be made by Energy Assistant Secretary Redentor E. Delola, who also heads the GEAP committee. — Marielle C. Lucenio