International groups laud Philippines energy transition plan

Richmond Mercurio - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines — International organizations have lauded the Philippines’ energy transition plan that is anchored on aggressive renewables development, grid expansion, and voluntary coal plant retirement.

Joseph Curtin, managing director of New York-based Rockefeller Foundation, commended the Philippines for its clear blueprint to transition towards cleaner energy sources. 

“Rockefeller Foundation is committed towards supporting innovative solutions to the climate crisis around the world,” Curtin said.

“The Philippine Energy Transition Plan presents a unique model for unlocking low carbon development in emerging markets as its strategic emphasis on enhancing grid infrastructure logically paves the way for enabling a shift from coal-to-clean that can be scaled and sustained over the long-term,” he said.

Lawrence Ang, managing partner of a Singapore-based transition and transaction advisory firm  Climate Smart Ventures Pte. Ltd. (CSV), said the Philippines’ current transmission infrastructure and slow growth of ancillary supply contracts limit penetration of renewable energy, which is why a grid transformation will serve as means to systematically unlock renewables for the Philippines and enable first movers for the transition.

“The Philippine government recognizes that rapid developments in renewable energy such as offshore wind and other technologies present an opportunity to further diversify the country’s power mix and pass-on economic benefits to consumers,” Ang said.

“CSV applauds the Philippine government’s bold and decisive approach to enable the coal-to-clean transition through grid expansion and offshore wind power development,” he said. 

Ang said “if successful, these will effectively steer first movers to accelerate their transition plans.”

“We are keen to support the Philippines’ decarbonization journey and invite the international community to support this unique country-driven program,” he said.

DOE Undersecretary Rowena Guevara  said the government was keen on pursuing priorities towards advancing an energy transition.

“The Philippine government is focusing on four strategic energy transition initiatives to steer the country’s transition to affordable, reliable and clean power – specifically, accelerated renewable energy development; a smart and green grid system that supports renewable development; port buildup to support offshore wind development; and voluntary coal plant retirement and/or re-purposing,” Guevara said. 

She said several policies are  in place to support renewable energy growth in the country, including recent directives to allow for 100 percent foreign ownership of power projects. 

Guevara said the Philippines is expected to reach 35 percent and 50 percent share of renewable energy in power generation by 2030 and 2040, respectively, and possibly exceed these targets with international support.

“The Philippines welcomes the opportunity to partner with the private sector, international donor community, and development partners to drive the transformation of our power sector in an ambitious, just and sustained manner,” she said.

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