DOE updates guidelines to boost renewable energy investments

By Francis Allan L. Angelo

The Department of Energy (DOE) of the Philippines has issued new streamlined guidelines for renewable energy (RE) development to expedite the implementation of renewable projects and attract more investments into the sector.

Under the newly published regulations, developers are now allowed to start permit processing and feasibility activities before the official commencement of their 25-year contract terms.

The shift from previous norms—where such activities were only permitted post-contract approval and signing by the Energy Secretary—marks a major step forward in RE project facilitation.

“The implementation of these new guidelines marks a significant step towards facilitating faster RE project implementation, fostering innovation, and attracting investments across the archipelago,” DOE Secretary Raphael P.M. Lotilla said in a statement.

New Certificates for Project Acceleration

The DOE will now issue Certificates of Authority (COA) to developers, granting them the authority to proceed with preliminary activities.

The COA validity varies: three years for biomass, geothermal, hydropower, ocean, and onshore and offshore wind projects; two years for floating solar; and one year for land-based solar projects.

The DOE reserves the right to revoke the COA if developers do not demonstrate sufficient progress within these periods.

Additionally, the DOE has simplified the process for duty-free importation incentives. Developers can now obtain a Certificate of Registration (COR) upon contract signing or proof of financial closing, providing them flexibility in availing duty-free importation incentives during the project development phase.

Opportunities for New Investments

The updated guidelines also introduce new opportunities for investments within existing contract areas.

Developers can apply for additional RE contracts and benefit from extended contract terms and incentives for capacity-increasing investments.

To support these improvements, the Energy Virtual One-Stop Shop (EVOSS) System will undergo enhancements starting June 25, 2024.

During this five-month period, the processing of new Letters of Intent (LOI) and RE applications will be temporarily halted, but applications submitted before this date will continue to be processed by the DOE’s Renewable Energy Management Bureau (DOE-REMB).

Orientation and Collaboration

The DOE-REMB has started orientation sessions with national government agencies to familiarize them with the new procedures, beginning on June 13, 2024.

Similar sessions with private stakeholders will follow, guiding them through the updated process.

These measures are expected to accelerate RE project development and contribute significantly to the Philippines’ goal of expanding its renewable energy capacity, aligning with the country’s sustainable development objectives.

The DOE’s revised guidelines, introduced via Department Circular No. 2024-06-0018, represent a strategic effort to remove obstacles and streamline the construction of renewable energy projects, ensuring the country meets its ambitious targets.

As of March 31, 2024, the DOE has awarded 1,327 renewable energy service contracts, primarily for solar and hydropower projects, which are in various stages of development.

These efforts are crucial for achieving the Philippines’ target of a 35-percent clean energy share in the power generation mix by 2030, increasing to 50 percent by 2040.


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