THE Department of Energy (DoE) said rooftop solar projects may soon be governed by rules that will allow the injection of spare power back to the grid and the sharing of power with peers.
“Soon we will be releasing a proposed policy on the expanded rooftop solar program in which three business models will be introduced,” Energy Assistant Secretary Mylene C. Capongcol said in a forum organized by the Stratbase ADR Institute on Monday.
Ms. Capongcol said the business models include the use of rooftop solar to meet the company’s own power needs; the injection of spare power generated by industrial or large commercial establishments into the grid; and peer-to-peer power sharing schemes.
She described the second model as an “interruptible load program (ILP) in reverse.”
“In the interruptible load program, you will not draw power from the grid and run your diesel generator. Under this program, when there is a supply shortfall, you can inject power to the grid,” she said.
Ms. Capongcol said that the peer-to-peer scheme will be confined within a specific area like an ecozone or subdivision to get around “franchising issues.”
“The peer-to-peer energy trading (will involve) some sort of blockchain technology,” she said.
Currently, the focus of the government is “to address the transmission, interconnection, market mechanisms, and other innovative ways in which generation will be sent to the grid,” Ms. Capongcol said.
In a survey conducted by Pulse Asia and commissioned by Stratbase ADR Institute, 85% of respondents supported increasing the use of renewable energy (RE).
The government is targeting to increase the share of RE to 35% by 2030 and to 50% by 2040.
As of June 2023, a total of 1,087 projects were awarded RE contracts with a total potential capacity of 113.564 gigawatts, the DoE reported.
Energy Undersecretary Sharon S. Garin said the grid needs to be modernized to ensure the integration and delivery of RE cost-effectively.
“While there are numerous efforts and initiatives to support the country’s energy transition, unlocking the full potential of RE will require new grid and system management initiatives,” Ms. Garin said.
Terry L. Ridon, a public investment analyst and convenor of think tank InfraWatch PH, said there is a need to prioritize the upgrading of the grid to achieve national energy security.
“The ERC (Energy Regulatory Commission) should tighten oversight on the completion of these critical infrastructure projects, which would hopefully strengthen the electricity value chain and prevent higher electricity cost for consumers,” he said. — Sheldeen Joy Talavera