DOE to push for amendments in EPIRA

DOE-Transmission lines

The Department of Energy (DOE) is set to push for amendments to Republic Act 9136 or the Electric Power Industry Reform Act (EPIRA) to strengthen the role of the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) and synchronize power transmission investments. 

In a report by the Manila Bulletin, Energy Secretary Raphael Lotilla noted President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. pointed out in his State of the Nation Address (SONA) the need for amendments in the EPIRA that would allow ERC to play a “more effective role in leveling the playing field for investors and ensure a competitive market. 

Back in May, Marcos Jr. expressed his plans to make amendments to the EPIRA in an attempt to bring down the costs of electricity. 

The Marcos Administration is also looking to amend EPIRA to strengthen transmission lines “to avoid the phenomenon of stranded power.” The government looks to avoid energy wastage from massive-scale RE installations. 

Lotilla cited the RE industry on Negros Island where power resources could not be exported outside the island. The Energy Secretary added that solar and geothermal have been competing in the area, which to Lotilla, is “a sad case which put up renewables against renewables, that’s why a better synchronization of plans is important.” 

Lotilla also mentioned plants to ease policy restrictions in targeted capital flow in the renewable energy sector, especially offshore wind – where the World Bank estimated 178 gigawatts (GW) of potential resources in the country. 

Earlier, the American Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines (AMCHAM) called on the government to lift the foreign ownership limit in RE projects.