Philippines, UK discuss possible RE investments

Czeriza Valencia (The Philippine Star) - May 14, 2021 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippines and the British government are now in talks for possible investments in the renewable energy (RE) sector in the country, according to the Department of Finance (DOF).

During a recent virtual meeting of Finance officials with British Ambassador Daniel Pruce, it was agreed that efforts would be continually made to engage with renewable energy investors to “determine possible policy gaps that need to be addressed to encourage the entry of investments to the country.”

Finance Assistant Secretary Paola Alvarez said the discussions would be held with representatives from the DOF, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Department of Energy (DOE).

During the virtual meeting, the Philippine panel acknowledged that it is important to attract more RE investments into the country given the government’s recent decision to impose a moratorium on the establishment of new coal-fired power plants.

In October last year, the government announced that it would no longer accept proposals to construct new coal power plants, and that it would allow full foreign ownership of large-scale geothermal energy projects with an initial investment cost of least $50 million.

The shift in the Philippine energy policy paves the way for the transition to renewable energy to address the country’s long-standing power supply problem and high power costs.

During the same meeting, Pruce also offered technical support for a public communication campaign on the proposed ban on single-use plastics.

In March, the Philippines became one of the recipients of shared grants under the Cross-Government Prosperity Fund of the UK government.

The fund has two regional programs for member countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN): £19 million (P1.29) billion for the ASEAN Economic Reform Program and £15 million (P1.02 billion) for the ASEAN Low Carbon Energy Program.

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