By Rhealyn C. Pojas
President Tommy Remengesau, Jr. proposes another bill to amend Palau’s National Code on energy production, purchase, and sale for several purposes including the achievement of goals under the Paris Climate Agreement in which the country is a signatory.
In a letter dated January 23 that was addressed to government officials and issued to Island Times, Remengesau Jr. said that based on the findings of the Palau Energy Summit, the Palau National Energy Committee (PNEC) has proposed the amendment of Chapter 4, 6, 7 of Title 37 of the Palau National Code to help realize the summit’s action plans.
One of the objectives of the summit was to find a way to achieve a 22% greenhouse gas emissions reduction, generate at least 45% of energy from renewable resources, and to significantly increase energy efficiency by 2025 which Palau had committed to accomplish under the Paris Climate Agreement.
Aside from that, the Energy Summit also determined that urgent legislative action was needed to reconcile the language of RPPL 9-4 (Chapter 4), RPPL 9-54 (Chapter 7), and the Net Metering Act (Chapter 6) in order to clarify roles and authorities of the PPUC to the PEA, the letter read.
The findings of the summit also determined that the Palau Energy Administration(PEA) “should be established as Palau’s regulatory authority.”
“I believed that these proposed amendments will serve the dual purposes of harmonizing the current laws and of establishing the PEA as Palau’s regulatory authority in the energy sector, thus accomplishing an important first step,” Remengesau Jr. said.
Under the proposed amendment, the PEA is granted sole authority to regulate energy production, purchase, and sale among all energy sectors in Palau. It is also tasked to take over the responsibility to approve PPUC’s major business negotiations such as entering into Power Purchase Agreements, and of promulgating regulations “establishing the manner in which prior approval to enter into business negotiations is requested and subsequently granted or denied.”
In the same proposition, PPUC would also be required to propose standards and guidelines for adoption by the PEA, pursuant to applicable regulations, that allow the PPUC to receive energy generated by hotels and other Independent Power Producers (IPPs) into the PPUC electrical grid.
“The need to bring IPPs into the mainstream electrical grid, which will increase renewable energy deployment, was a primary finding of the Energy Summit,” Remengesau further said in the letter.
The proposed amendments to the other chapters simply calls for the harmonization of the law.
Remengesau added that these amendments will put Palau in a position to accomplish the Paris Agreement goals and become a global leader in clean energy. [/restrict]