By Angelica Y. Yang

THE Department of Energy (DoE) said it seeks to launch an auction for green energy suppliers by June to determine how much volume from renewable sources the market is willing to absorb.

The green energy auction is open to qualified renewable energy (RE) developers seeking to supply their output, and could allow consumers to access green electricity at potentially below-market prices.

“The Department of Energy remains committed to its mandate under the Department Circular 2020-07-0017 (which that laid down the guidelines for conducting the green energy auction) and to launch as planned the first green energy auction by June this year,” Assistant Secretary Redentor E. Delola told BusinessWorld by e-mail Friday.

In July, the circular outlined how the green energy auction is to be conducted, one of its objectives is to help power providers comply with the renewable portfolio standards (RPS) program. The RPS requires distribution utilities to meet a quota from power provided by qualified RE facilities.

RE projects eligible for the green energy auction are those covered under the RPS. For on-grid areas the qualified participants can be from the biomass, wind, solar, hydro, ocean, geothermal, and waste-to-energy industries.

On Friday, Mr. Delola said that the DoE was still determining the volume to be auctioned for the first auction.

“In terms of accounting for the volume that distribution utilities are planning to buy, the DoE is still in the process of completing the required technical parameters… For instance, there is a need to collect and aggregate data such as load profiles and energy volumes to determine the mandated participant’s total supply volume,” Mr. Delola said.

He said that the DoE hopes to complete the data collection stage “at the soonest possible time.”

“The GEAC (Green Energy Auction Committee) is also coordinating with the regulator on the GEAR (Green Energy Auction Reserve) Price determination,” Mr. Delola said.

The GEAC is the composite team in charge of the auction. The GEAR refers to the maximum price offer in pesos per kilowatt-hour, as set by the ERC (Energy Regulatory Commission).

In July, Mr. Delola said that the department intended to hold the auction in 2021, pending an estimate of the volume that utilities are looking to purchase.

The president of the Biomass Renewable Energy Alliance, Inc. Don Mario Y. Dia, has said that the process of supplying RE to consumers who express a preference for green sources of energy should give priority to projects that did not make it to the feed-in tariff (FiT) scheme.

The FiT is a fixed subsidy given to eligible RE developers by the government, as a means of encouraging RE investment.