DOE supports full foreign ownership for renewable energy projects

Job Manahan, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Feb 03 2023 05:56 PM | Updated as of Feb 03 2023 09:33 PM

Solar panels appear on rooftops of houses at a village in Barangay Buluang, Busuanga, in Palawan on November 29, 2022, as ACCIONA, a Spanish sustainable infrastructure and renewable energy conglomerate, launches its Lights at Home Project that will install residential photovoltaic systems in off-grid homes. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News
Solar panels appear on rooftops of houses at a village in Barangay Buluang, Busuanga, in Palawan on November 29, 2022, as ACCIONA, a Spanish sustainable infrastructure and renewable energy conglomerate, launches its Lights at Home Project that will install residential photovoltaic systems in off-grid homes. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News

MANILA — Philippines has already allowed 100 percent foreign ownership of renewable energy projects, making it possible for the country to attain its targets for the industry, the Department of Energy (DOE) said on Friday. 

Energy Undersecretary Rowena Guevarra said opening the country's renewable energy for full foreign ownership will help fulfill the target of 35 percent renewables by 2030 and 50 percent renewables 10 years after that. 

Incentives and benefits await foreign investors which include 7 years of income tax holiday and 10 percent corporate tax after that, duty free importation for 10 years, and more. 

"Even our President is promoting renewable energy investments for the country," said Guevarra during a televised briefing. 

"Dahil po dito sa ating full 100 percent foreign ownership for renewable energy, sa taya ng Department of Energy, makakaya nating ma-fulfill iyong target natin na by 2040 ay 50 percent na tayong renewable energy," she added. 

The move is important, the DOE official noted, because fuel prices rose globally, affecting electricity costs. 

At present, renewables comprise 22.8 percent of the total energy capacity as of 2022, she said, admitting that the country is not "energy secure" in terms of electricity. 

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It will take years however to build the country's renewable energy infrastructure and distribute this to households.

"Nakikita naman natin na mas mababa siya kumpara kunwari sa diesel-powered electricity – bababa ang ating singil sa kuryente. Kaya nga lang, hindi naman kaagad naitatayo itong mga planta ng renewable energy," she said. 

"Iyong mga solar, kaya iyan nang one to three years; pero kunwari iyong offshore wind mga five to eight years bago iyan maitayo," she added. 

The DOE on Nov. 15 last year released Circular No. 2022-11-0034, amending the Renewable Energy Act that which mandates that only Filipinos are allowed in some aspects of exploring, developing, and using solar, wind, hydropower and ocean energy. 

The circular also allows the entry of foreign capital in the country's renewable energy sector. 

"[This will lower] the cost of RE projects, and making cleaner energy more accessible to the greater public," the circular read.