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Energy Sector Welcomes US Investors

by Philippine Resources - April 18, 2021

As the country aims to make its power supplies more stable and sustainable, Energy Secretary Alfonso G. Cusi invited US companies to invest in the Philippine energy sector on Thursday, especially in renewables and nuclear power.

“I hope our American friends in the business community will again take a look at our new initiatives that aim to make the Philippines rife with many investment opportunities,” Mr Cusi said during his talk at the virtual economic briefing “PH-US at 75: Strengthening Ties through Sustainable Recovery.”

He invited US businesses to participate in the Department of Energy's Green Energy Option Program (GEOP) and Green Energy Auction Program (GEAP) (GEAP). Users who use at least 100 kilowatts of power will use GEOP to access retail energy providers who generate electricity from renewables, while GEAP enables eligible RE (renewable energy) developers to sell their produce to the rest of the power industry.

“I want to invite you to participate in these renewable programs,” Mr Cusi said.

According to Mr Cusi, one of the Department of Energy's priorities in its revised Philippine Energy Plan (PEP) 2018-2040 is to improve the production of renewable and indigenous energy sources including geothermal, hydro, and natural gas to fulfill economic growth demands.

As a result, he added, the current PEP envisions a renewable energy scenario with slower growth in overall primary energy production. “Coal and oil shares will also continue to decrease due to the use of alternative fuels for transport, among others,” he said.

Mr Cusi said he would like to see more private sector involvement in geothermal production when asked which region of RE he would like to see more private sector participation in.

“Geothermal energy is an area that we would really like to tap and develop. That’s the kind of power we need, and we’d like to see investors from the US doing a 100% participation in the development of our geothermal energy,” he said during the virtual event’s panel discussion.

Mr Cusi also emphasized the investment opportunity in nuclear energy. “I am a firm believer that integrating nuclear power into the country’s energy mix would significantly help us meet our future power requirements,” he said.

PEP had assumed the incorporation of nuclear power in the energy mix by 2035 until President Rodrigo R. Duterte signed the order establishing the Nuclear Energy Program Inter-Agency Committee, according to Mr Cusi. In December, the President received a report from an inter-agency commission that examined the implementation of a national role for a Nuclear Energy Program.

Through the development of small compact reactors that can be used for off-grid areas or remote islands, Mr Cusi believes that nuclear power could be integrated into the generation mix as early as 2027.

This will be based on the passage of legislation regulating nuclear power, he said.

He also encouraged business leaders to explore the Philippine Conventional Energy Contracting Program, which seeks to encourage exploration by providing areas with possible oil and gas reserves. An updated petroleum service contract awarding process is included in the scheme, allowing developers to compete for exploration projects by open selection or appointment.

“I am happy to share that as a result of our strong promotional efforts, both locally and abroad, as of December 2020, we received a total of 14 applications for nominated and new areas,” Mr Cusi said. 


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