Renewable energy producers are being questioned for seeking crony-like privileges in the government for its projects.
In a column posted in Business World, Bienvenido S. Oplas Jr. cited the National Transmission Corp petition to increase the Feed – in – Tariff (FIT) allowance for renewable energy projects in seeking special privilege.
“It is a clear example of renewables’ cronyism that penalizes electricity consumers and rewards renewable energy (RE) developers supposedly to help “save the planet,” the column said.
He added that while the wind and solar technology costs are declining, its FIT rates continue to rise over the years. FIT for the wind is at P7.71/kWh while solar had P8.89/Kwh in 2017.
Oplas also said that government taxes should be applied to all technologies, and there should be “no special privileges of tax breaks and other fiscal sweeteners.”
“We need less government regulations in setting the energy mix, less government favoritism for expensive wind-solar resulting in more expensive electricity,” the column added.
The columnist also said that coal should not be demonized, particularly the pending power supply agreements (PSAs) that involve coal power projects, as this energy source contributed to the declining prices of generation charges in the past few years.
While coal is usually called out to affect the environmental stability of the country, Oplas said that the Philippines is #1 in that category, citing the World Energy Council (WEC) World Energy Trilemma Index 2016.
What the country should focus on, his column said, is that the country is #92 in energy equity or affordability, because of high power rates.
“Power companies should focus on ensuring that electricity consumers have cheap and stable electricity available 24/7 without any brownouts, even for a minute,” it said.