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Philippines DOE expects more investor interest in renewable energy development

Geysir drilling rig of Iceland Drilling on Biliran Island, Philippines (source: Biliran Island Blog)
Alexander Richter 8 Aug 2017

With 43 geothermal projects with a potential capacity of 684 MW awarded in the Philippines, many projects could see a speedier permitting process following a new Executive Order.

As reported previously, the Energy Department expects to attract more investors to build energy projects in the Philippines after the government issued an executive order to reduce time and bureaucracy for permitting of renewable energy projects.

President Rodrigo Duterte earlier signed an EO No. 30, directing concerned government agencies to act upon applications for permits involving energy projects of national significance not exceeding within a 30-day period.

The EO further said that if no decision was made with the specified processing time frame, the application is deemed approved by the concerned agencies.

Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi said the EO would make it easier for investors who want to build energy infrastructure in the Philippines by streamlining bureaucracy and removing time-consuming hurdles to investments.

“This executive order will see energy projects amounting to at least $70 million being classified as projects of national significance as well as mandate the  streamlining of permitting process of all government agencies under the Energy Investment Coordinating Council,” Cusi said.

“This will change the way we process our energy projects. No longer will it take up to three years for an agency to respond to a proposal for a project. Instead,  these agencies must act on a proposal within 30 days, otherwise, the proposal is deemed approved. Speed is of the essence here and we are determined to see that we pull in the best investments and build our projects on time to deliver on our domestic plan,” he added.

Data from the Energy showed it awarded 755 renewable energy projects with a potential generation capacity of 16,948 megawatts as of end December 2016.

Latest records from the department showed hydro power obtained the biggest number of approvals with 413 projects and with a potential combined capacity of 10,792.37 MW. Solar projects followed with 150 projects approved with a potential capacity of 4,077.22 MW. Wind projects came next with 58 projects approved and equivalent to a potential output of 1,038.95 MW.

Geothermal saw approval of 43 projects involving a potential capacity of 684 MW.

Biomass followed with 45 projects approved with a potential capacity of 312.38 MW and ocean energy with seven projects approved equivalent to a potential output of 26 MW.

The department has nearly 4,000 MW of projects pending approval, indicating continuing interest in the country’s renewable energy industry.

Source: Manila Standard