Trade chief encourages foreign firms to invest in PH renewable sector

TRADE Secretary Fred Pascual has trumpeted the country’s policy reforms during the recent state visit of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. in Beijing, China.

Pascual, Energy Secretary Raphael Lotilla, and the rest of the Philippine official delegation to China led a roundtable meeting on renewable energy (RE) in the Chinese capital.

Due to the policy reform implemented in December 2022 that lifted foreign ownership restrictions on RE generation projects, the Philippines saw a significant increase in investment interests. These are focused on solar and wind, but also include manufacturing of equipment such as wind turbine generator towers, foundations, blades, and other wind turbine parts.

Pascual emphasized the importance of the RE sector in achieving economic development, saying “the energy sector is a vital driver of Philippine industrialization and economic growth.”

“For industries to flourish in our country, we need a secure, resilient, and competitive supply of energy. In the face of climate change and the worldwide shift to green development, the Philippine government finds renewable energy to be a long-term solution to our sustainable development,” he said.

Likewise, he boasted that the Philippines now has a healthy and competitive business environment that will enable RE companies to thrive.

“Investors will find that the Philippines, with its geographical advantage, is home to abundant sources of renewable energy. On the policy front, investors will find it relevant that in our existing Renewable Energy Act, foreigners can own up to 100 percent of renewable energy projects in solar, wind, and tidal energy. This should help the Philippines increase renewable energy’s share to 50 percent of its total energy supply by 2040,” Pascual shared.

Chinese RE companies have responded positively towards the Philippines’ policy directions and have conveyed their interest to invest and help the country realize its National Renewable Energy Program 2020-2040 goals. In total, there are about USD13.76 billion worth of investments in the RE sector in varying stages in the investment pipeline, the government said.

As issues involving climate change become even more pressing, investments in the RE sector will help the Philippines navigate the path towards a more sustainable business ecosystem. Further, the sector creates employment opportunities up and down the supply chain.