DOE releases draft of waste-to-energy policy

THE Department of Energy (DOE) on Thursday released a draft policy aimed at enhancing the development of waste-to-energy (WTE) facilities across the country.

WTE, also known as biomass energy, converts non-recyclable waste materials into heat, electricity or fuel. The DOE wants the said technology included in the qualified renewable energy generating units considered as “must dispatch.”

“Must dispatch preference is given to power generation from eligible WTE facility in hierarchy of dispatch schedule,” the draft policy reads, adding that the DOE sees the need to issue a policy to “further support as well as address issues and concerns in the development of WTE in the Philippines.”

The DOE added it recognizes that WTE facility projects achieve both socioeconomic benefits of local government units’ (LGUs) solid waste management programs and provision of additional source of power supply.

Incentives would also be given to distribution utilities (DUs) procuring energy from qualified WTE facilities.

“[Every one megawatt-hour] sourced from duly-registered eligible WTE facility shall be given two RECs (renewable energy certificates) under the [renewable energy] market, provided that generation shall properly be metered as basis for issuance of RECs,” the draft document reads.

WTE facilities with systems embedded to DUs would also be mandated to undergo a competitive selection process. The power supply agreement between the DU and the WTE facility would be valid for ten years. However, projects initiated and completed by LGUs would be exempted.

The DOE said it would accept comments from industry players on the draft circular until September 8.

Sen. Sherwin Gatchalian, chairman of the Senate Committee on Energy, filed Senate Bill 1789 or the WTE Bill in August last year. The proposed measure is now awaiting the second reading in the plenary.