The Philippines needs a cost-effective net metering policy

Published onSeptember 12, 2018

Under the current scheme, rooftop PV remains far below its huge potential in the country. Regulatory, administrative and financial hurdles are preventing more electricity consumers from installing rooftop arrays, as well as the resistance of local utilities.

Residential and commercial PV has so far seen limited growth in the Philippines, despite the country having a net metering scheme in place for PV installations up to 100 kW in size since July 2013. The reasons for the slow development can be found, according to a report published by the U.S.-based Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA), in a series of administrative, financial and regulatory hurdles that are preventing Philippine homeowners and small and medium-sized enterprizes from installing rooftop solar. The three main challenges, according to IEEFA analysts, are the net metering policy, difficult access to affordable financing and complicated approval processes, while the main drivers for future growth are expected to be high electricity prices and frequent power shortages. The authors of the report also highlighted the costs of rooftop solar in the Philippines range from PHP2.50 ($0.046) per kWh without financing expenses, to PHP5.3/kWh when such costs are included.