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Cusi urges US firms to invest in local RE projects
During a virtual briefing, Cusi presented various RE investment opportunities especially as the COVID-19 pandemic accelerated energy transition worldwide.

Cusi urges US firms to invest in local RE projects

Danessa Rivera (The Philippine Star) - April 16, 2021 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi is urging US companies to take part in the country’s renewable energy (RE) push, particularly in the capital-intensive development of geothermal resources.

During a virtual briefing, Cusi presented various RE investment opportunities especially as the COVID-19 pandemic accelerated energy transition worldwide.

“For us in the Philippines, this further underscored the urgency in securing a sustainable energy future for the country,” he said.

In particular, Cusi urged US firms to help the country develop geothermal resources. “That’s an area we would really like to tap and develop. That’s the kind of power that we need. And we’d like to see investors from the US doing 100 percent participation in geothermal,” Cusi said.

In a bid to grow RE investments, the DOE opened the country’s geothermal sector to greater foreign investments by allowing 100 percent foreign participation in large-scale geothermal projects.

This is through the third Open and Competitive Selection Process (OCSP3) wherein foreign companies are now allowed to participate in geothermal exploration, development and utilization activities with a minimum investment cost of $50 million and under the Financial and Technical Assistance Agreements (FTAAs), as provided by the Philippine Constitution.

In his presentation, Cusi also invited US companies to participate in the Green Energy Auction Program (GEAP) which is aimed at supporting and facilitating compliance to the Renewable Portfolio Standards’ Rules.

“It also provides an additional market for RE developers with the end view of accelerating greater entry of renewables in the power industry. It will also promote the competitive setting of rates for RE supply,” he said.

“Currently, we are preparing for the conduct of the first auction sometime in June 2021. Again, I want to invite you to participate in these renewable programs,” he said.

Apart from new projects, Cusi urged all US locators in the country to start sourcing their power from RE plants.

“For one, the DOE is pushing for the Green Energy Option Program (GEOP), where clean energy advocates can source their clean power requirements through our Retail Electricity Suppliers (RES). I have asked some European Ambassadors in the Philippines to avail of this option for their offices and residences, and although it may be expensive, it is high time that green technology advocates really walk the talk in using renewables,” Cusi said.

In support of attracting investments in the energy sector, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) is launching a project with the DOE and Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) next month.

“Working closely with DOE and ERC, the USAID will launch the energy secure Philippine activity which will improve the environment for private investment and competition in the energy sector,” USAID acting administrator of Gloria Steele said in the same event.

“Through the new activity, USAID will support the private sector’s role in expanding energy sector opportunities and energy efficient investments. To help achieve the target of $750 million of new investments in the energy sector, the USAID will provide transaction advisory services to help close deals and secure investments,” she said.

RENEWABLE ENERGY
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