Tue. May 11th, 2021

The Department of Energy (DOE) said foreign companies can now take a 100-percent stake in large-scale geothermal exploration projects in the Philippines.

Energy Secretary Alfonso G. Cusi made that announcement in his recorded speech for the 2nd Global Ministerial Conference on System Integration of Renewables, which was held as part of the Singapore International Energy Week 2020.

“As the Philippine Department of Energy re-evaluates the appropriateness of our current energy mix vis-a-vis our energy goals, I am optimistic that this would lead to more opportunities for RE (renewable energy) to figure prominently in our country’s energy future,” Cusi said.

He signed on October 20 a DOE Circular providing the guidelines for the third Open and Competitive Selection Process (OCSP3) in the awarding of renewable energy service contracts, allowing 100-percent foreign ownership in large-scale geothermal projects.

Large-scale geothermal projects are those with an initial investment cost of about $50 million capitalization through Financial and Technical Assistance Agreements (FTAAs).

FTAAs may be entered into between foreign contractors and the Philippine government for the large-scale exploration, development, and utilization of natural resources, and are signed by the President.

Cusi noted that as of 2019, the Philippines still had the highest RE share in the total primary energy supply from among countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.

The DOE is also reducing the country’s dependence on coal and announced on Tuesday it will no longer process new applications for coal-powered plants. Coal-fired power plants have come under fire worldwide.

Aside from geothermal, the other sources of renewable energy the DOE is pushing include hydro, wind, biomass and solar. SOVEREIGNPH

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