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Renewable energy investments seen to rise

Paolo Romero - The Philippine Star
Renewable energy investments seen to rise
Gatchalian, vice chairman of the Senate committee on energy, explained that the increase in investments depends on amending the implementing rules and regulations of Republic Act 9513, or the Renewable Energy Act of 2008.
STAR / File

MANILA, Philippines — Renewable energy investments in the country are expected to rise substantially after the Department of Justice issued an opinion that natural resources, including solar, wind, hydro and ocean or tidal energies are not covered by the constitutional limitation on foreign ownership, Sen. Sherwin Gatchalian said yesterday.

Gatchalian, vice chairman of the Senate committee on energy, explained that the increase in investments depends on amending the implementing rules and regulations of Republic Act 9513, or the Renewable Energy Act of 2008.

“The removal of the 40-percent foreign ownership cap is a game-changer. This puts the country on the right path of creating an investment climate that would enhance the establishment of more renewable energy facilities amid global efforts to address climate change and ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine,” he said.

He added that a wider adoption of renewable energy in the country could progressively bring down power rates for the benefit of consumers and create more jobs within the communities concerned.

The removal of foreign ownership limitation on renewable energy facilities augurs well with a recent decision of the Department of Energy to increase the percentage of renewable energy utilization for on-grid areas from one percent to 2.52 percent and in line with the DOE’s vision of powering up communities with clean and sustainable energy systems, according to the senator.

The increase to 2.52 percent shall take effect next year.

Gatchalian said the increase would also help the country lessen its dependence on energy derived from fossil fuel and coal-based power plants.

To date, a total of 998 renewable energy contracts generating around P270 billion in investments have been approved by DOE. Such contracts have a total installed capacity of 5,460 megawatts and a potential capacity of 61,613.81 MW.

The senator said any increase in the use of renewable energy could also enhance the development of other similar sources that have yet to be harnessed in the country, such as ocean or tidal energy, green hydrogen and offshore wind.

“Tapping any source of energy within our country will be a big help to our consumers and our economy,” Gatchalian said in Filipino.

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