RENEWABLE energy power plants are still running with no impact from the disruptions caused by the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) emergency, the industry’s regulator said.

“Most if not all RE (renewable energy) plants have been operating in spite of the effects of COVID-19, and were not affected by (the) disruptions,” according to Monalisa C. Dimalanta, chairman of the National Renewable Energy Board (NREB).

“This is one key advantage of RE over non-RE plants, which is highlighted in our current situation,” she added.

The Renewable Portfolio Standards (RPS) rules for both on-grid and off-grid areas are due for full implementation this year. The standards require power utilities, including electric cooperatives, retail electricity suppliers, and generation companies with directly connected customers, to generate or source some of their electricity requirements from eligible renewable resources.

As of March 31, there are 127 eligible renewable power plants with a total capacity of 2,221.15 megawatts which are potential sources of clean power resources.

Eligible generators include facilities using biomass, waste-to-energy, wind energy, solar energy, run-of-river hydroelectric power systems, impounding hydroelectric power systems, ocean energy, geothermal energy, hybrid systems as defined by the Renewable Energy Act, and other renewable energy technologies that may be later identified by the DoE.

The RPS rules set an annual incremental percentage of electricity sold by power utilities at less than 1% of their annual energy demand.

Households in areas unserviceable by power grids are provided with electricity from renewable resources, the developers of which are entitled to a half of the collected universal charges for missionary electrification.

The NREB is still awaiting the decision of the Department of Energy (DoE) on some other facilities that applied for eligibility. — Adam J. Ang