DOE issues new RE application guidelines for greater ease of doing business

In its ongoing effort to establish greater ease of doing business in the energy sector and to meet the country’s renewable energy targets, the Department of Energy (DOE) has simplified the application process for renewable energy (RE) development.


Under the newly published guidelines governing the award and administration of RE contracts, developers are now allowed to commence permit processing, conduct survey and other feasibility activities before the official 25-year contract terms begins. The DOE will issue a Certificate of Authority (COA) to developers which grants them authority to proceed with these activities which were previously only permitted after contract approval and signing by the Energy Secretary.


The validity period of the COA varies by project type: three (3) years for biomass, geothermal, hydropower, ocean and onshore and offshore wind projects; two (2) years for floating solar; and one (1) year for land-based solar projects. The DOE may, however, recall the COA if the developer fails to demonstrate reasonable efforts in undertaking the required activities within these prescribed periods.


Additionally, the DOE has streamlined the process for duty-free importation incentives. Developers of certain projects may now receive a Certificate of Registration (COR) upon signing of the contract or proof of financial closing, providing them flexibility in availing of duty-free importation incentives in the project development stage.


Further, the guidelines introduce opportunities for new investments within the contract areas, enabling developers to apply for additional RE contracts and potentially enjoy extended contract terms and incentives for capacity-increasing investments.


To facilitate this transition, the Energy Virtual One-Stop Shop (EVOSS) System will undergo enhancements for five months from the effectivity of the new guidelines or starting 25 June 2024. During this period, the processing of Letters of Intent (LOI) and RE applications will be temporarily paused. However, RE applications submitted before said date will continue to be processed by the DOE-Renewable Energy Management Bureau (DOE-REMB).


The enhancement period will also allow for the updating of de-listed RE contracts, modifications to the EVOSS System, coordination with concerned government agencies such as the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), Board of Investments (BOI) and local government units (LGUs), and the establishment of a procedure by the DOE-Information Technology and Management Services (DOE-ITMS) for real-time updates of available areas for service or operating contract applications.


The DOE-REMB has started holding orientation sessions, beginning with the national government agencies yesterday, 13 June 2024 so that they can make the necessary adjustments.  The orientation sessions with the private stakeholders to guide them through the new application process will be posted on the DOE website.


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