Accelerating renewable energy
Published by the Visayan Daily Star
Editor-in-Chief & President
Bureau Chief, Dumaguete
MAJA P. DELY
|CARLOS ANTONIO L. LEONARDIA
The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) released a study titled “Accelerating the Deployment of Renewable Energy Mini-Grids and Off-Grid Electrification – A Study on the Philippines” to Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi early this month in a bid to promote better access to basic electricity services in the country.
IRENA is an intergovernmental organization that supports countries in their transition to a sustainable energy future. The international agency promotes the widespread adoption and sustainable use of all forms of renewable energy, including bioenergy, geothermal, hydropower, ocean, solar and wind energy, in the pursuit of sustainable development, energy access, energy security and low-carbon economic growth and prosperity.
The IRENA study came up with key recommendations in the study. It said the Philippines should define roles and responsibilities to remove overlapping roles, functions and accountabilities to acknowledge stakeholders' roles and to define private sector boundaries. The country was also told to undertake comprehensive and strategic planning for total electrification, missionary electrification development, stronger coordination among relevant agencies, grid and off-grid development efforts, and resource utilization, especially renewable energy.
IRENA also promoted the setting up of micro-grids by revising regulatory approach to remove existing barriers and facilitate smooth entry in the market by streamlining processes, updating procurement rules and improving tariff determination procedures.
The Department of Energy has a lot of work to do if it takes the IRENA study to heart and integrate idealistic energy goals as it upgrades and improves the energy situation in the country. The Philippines may be slowly adapting green and renewable energy technologies but as evidenced by the disconnect between the hustle of the green power producers in Negros Island and the unpreparedness of our transmission network, time and energy is wasted by the lack of planning and coordination among the stakeholders and the government.
Hopefully the DOE hits its stride soon as it works to provide better access to better quality and sustainable energy all over the country. *