Wednesday, July 17, 2024

DOE Simplifies Renewable Energy Application Process

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DOE Simplifies Renewable Energy Application Process

4386

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The Department of Energy (DOE) has simplified the renewable energy (RE) application process to improve the ease of doing business and meet national RE goals.

In a virtual press briefing Friday, DOE Secretary Raphael Lotilla said the new guidelines allow RE developers to start permit processing, surveys, and feasibility studies before the official 25-year contract begins.

The developers will receive a Certificate of Authority (COA) from the DOE to proceed with these activities, which were previously allowed only after contract approval.

The COA validity varies by project type: three years for biomass, geothermal, hydropower, ocean, and wind projects; two years for floating solar; and one year for land-based solar. The DOE can revoke the COA if developers do not make reasonable efforts within the given time.

The DOE has also streamlined duty-free importation incentives, wherein developers can now obtain a Certificate of Registration upon contract signing or financial closing, allowing them to access duty-free import benefits during project development.

The new guidelines also enable developers to apply for additional RE contracts and potentially extend contract terms and incentives for capacity increases.

“On June 4, the newly revised omnibus RE guidelines was signed and it has been published and it will be effective by June 25, 2024,” DOE Undersecretary Sharon Garin said.

“The main consideration why there was an overhaul of the whole omnibus is because, as of today, the renewable energy industry is not anymore in its infancy stage, unlike when we first issued the omnibus guidelines for applications.”

Garin said the DOE has already issued 1,300 RE service contracts in different technologies, with a total capacity of about 62 gigawatts.

She added that these awarded service contracts would allow the country to achieve its RE goals of having a 35-percent share in the energy mix by 2030, increasing to 50 percent by 2040.

Meanwhile, part of the transition is the suspension of the Energy Virtual One-Stop Shop (EVOSS) System.

The EVOSS will be enhanced for more than five months starting June 25, temporarily pausing new Letters of Intent (LOI) and RE applications. Applications submitted before this date will continue to be processed.

The DOE will, likewise, update de-listed RE contracts, modify the EVOSS System, and coordinate with other government agencies and local units.

Its Renewable Energy Management Bureau also began orientation sessions with concerned national agencies on June 13 and will guide private stakeholders through the new process, with information available on the DOE website.

“These new guidelines are a major step towards faster RE project implementation, fostering innovation, and attracting investments across the archipelago,” Lotilla added. (PNA)