Briones: The Philippines should now move towards low-carbon economy

“The Philippines should now move towards  low-carbon economy. Another delay in the implementation of the Renewable Energy Law is a backward trend in the battle against Climate Change. There is a need to speed up green technological change towards clean energy”.

This was the reaction of Ruth P. Briones, Chair and CEO of Greenergy Solutions and Convenor of the Zero Waste Philippines Project in connection with the recent pronouncement of the Board of Investments (BOI) in the Philippines seeking postponement in the implementation of  Renewable Energy Act of 2008 particularly the provisions on Feed-in-Tariff (FIT) as the country needs more to attract more investments.

Briones said that while other developing nations received more clean energy investments, the Philippines is lagging behind , and large numbers  of  local and foreign  investors  have been  waiting for two years for the approval of the FIT  rates that should have signal  investments for renewable energy projects in the Philippines.

Global Investment groups are looking at the Philippines to be on the front of renewable energy development in the ASEAN, Briones added. This was evident in the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) conference in Jakarta, Indonesia last May, wherein global financing groups expressed optimism in the Renewable energy development in the Philippines, it was further noted.

Greenergy Solutions Inc. is a renewable energy development company that has existing agreements with Local Government Units (LGUs) in the Philippines for the development and operation of Biomass Waste-to-Energy Facilities with municipal solid waste (MSW) as feedstocks.

Briones had noted that fifteen projects are in the pipeline waiting for the FIT rate to be approved which is made as condition by local and foreign investors to move forward.

Delaying the implementation of the Renewable Law will have impact on the development of Waste-to-Energy (WTE) Facilities that are expected as more viable alternative to sanitary landfills for LGUs in the disposal and conversion of their municipal solid wastes.

“We are already suffering the long wait in the development of these proposed WTE projects, the mayors are also being subjected to the strict disposal of their MSW. We need to attract foreign and local investors as funding partners. The real challenge is, for the Philippine government to pursue its commitments to provide a clean environment and clean energy to its people.” Briones reiterated.

The Renewable Energy Law in the Philippines was approved in 2008 and the FIT rates are yet to be released by the government. Under the proposed FIT rates, renewable energy power generation plants will have priority dispatch and payment under a power purchase price that is approved  by the Energy Regulatory Commission as recommended by the Department of Energy.

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