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PH risks losing out on renewables—report


MANILA, Philippines—The lack of mobilization of stakeholders, long renewable energy permit application processes and the lack of technical infrastructure are some of the issues the government has to address if it wants to meet the country’s renewable energy goals, a report released recently said.

The report titled “Meeting Renewable Energy Targets: Global lessons from the road to implementation” said that while the government had “long-term energy plan targets” through its National Renewable Energy Program, “external opposition” to several policy mechanisms was delaying the country’s renewable energy development process.

The National Renewable Energy Program aims to triple the country’s renewable energy capacity base by 2030.

Prepared by the World Wildlife Fund in collaboration with the think tank World Resources Institute (WRI), the report was done to show what countries could do to meet their renewable energy targets, said Athena Ballesteros, WRI international financial flows and environment project manager.

Apart from the Philippines, the other case studies included in the report were China, India, Germany, Morocco, South Africa and Spain.

A case in point, the report said, was the opposition of “project developers” and “consumer organizations”—who fear they would shoulder additional charges in electricity—to the feed-in tariff program. The tariff program seeks to ensure that renewable energy companies get additional money for every kilowatt of clean power they sell.

Apart from delaying the renewable energy development process, the opposition, compounded with what the report described as the Energy Regulatory Commission’s weak capacity, put the country at risk of losing “over $2.5 billion in potential renewable energy investments,” the report said.

“Substantial project implementation bottlenecks related to lack of institutional coordination … are also putting serious (constraints) on renewable energy development in the Philippines,” it said.

“Delays in policy decisions have mostly been affected by disagreements within governments and the opposition of various influential groups…,” it quoted other literature as saying.

According to the report, the “long and convoluted” process a new company that wishes to sell renewable energy had to undergo in the country also “discourages many possible investors and delays projects.”

The report said there was a need to “establish a One-Stop Shop” that would take care of and “streamline all renewable energy applications.”

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