AC Energy Corp. wants the rules for the Green Energy Auction Program (GEAP) to be “stringent” and, at the same time, “reasonable” to ensure that it will attract serious bidders.
“We’re hopeful that the mechanisms will be implemented in a timely fashion and also helpful that the government will shape the rules and parameters of this GEAP to make sure it is encouraging the serious bidders with real financial and technical capability.
What we don’t want are bidders who will not push through with their projects. So, we are hopeful the parameters will be stringent and reasonable enough and that the penalties and performance bonds, for example, will make sure that the bidders will follow through on their commitments,” said AC Energy President Eric Francia during a webinar on “Green and Inclusive Recovery.”
Under GEAP, power generators will have to bid through an auction and whichever has the lowest tariff will qualify to sell their output. The program is meant to achieve the country’s RE goals of hitting a 35-percent share in the energy mix by 2030.
The current mix is still dominated by fossil fuels at 54.6 percent, natural gas at 21.2 percent, RE at 20.8 percent and oil-based fuel at 3.5 percent. Industry experts have said in the past that to get to 30 percent, an additional 20 gigawatts (20,000 megawatts) of new RE projects must be put in place in 10 years. This is equivalent to an investment of over $20 billion.
The anticipated RE investment, said Francia, could even be higher if battery energy storage system is included.
“Assuming that we really get to the 20GW of RE build up over the next decade, the rough estimate here is we should be seeing well over $20 billion worth of investments in renewables alone, not including storage because storage is another upside that could add another 20 to 30 percent of this figure, within the decade and create over 50,000 jobs,” said Francia.
Francia said he recognizes the Department of Energy’s (DOE) efforts to increase RE installations under the Renewable Portfolio Standards (RPS) policy from the current 1 percent to 2.52 percent by 2023.
RPS is a market-based policy that requires power distribution utilities (DUs), electric cooperatives, and retail electricity suppliers to source an agreed portion of their energy supply from eligible RE facilities.
“We are closely watching this important policy. Hopefully, it will be formalized soon,” he said.
The DOE is expected to conduct the GEAP next month.
“One of the things that we’ve discussed within the DOE is actually try to improve on the GEAP to hit our targets using existing mechanisms that will increase the share of RE in the market, increase the available supply of power in the grid, and at the same time will increase the RPS allocation of the DUs,” said GEA Committee Chairperson and DOE Assistant Secretary Redentor Delola in a statement.