DOE sees P4.9-T green energy transition investments for PH

In line with the Philippine government’s decarbonization commitment to the 26th Conference of the Parties (COP) Climate Change Summit, the Department of Energy (DOE) has projected of more than P4.874 trillion worth of "green investments" that could be rolled out in the country.

According to Energy Undersecretary Felix William B. Fuentebella, who was the DOE’s representative in the recently concluded COP 26 summit in Glasgow, Scotland, green investments would be spread across renewable energy (RE) installations, biofuel facilities, and deployment of energy efficiency technologies. This excludes potential investment in the electrification of the transport sector that is still undergoing re-assessment.

For RE investments, in particular, the DOE calculated that this would bring in P4.74 trillion worth of fresh capital in the entire energy sector – including pre-development ventures that may reach P25.3 billion; while the power plants to be constructed will corner P4.72 trillion.

“As the country transitions in the direction of utilizing clean energy fuels and technologies, the total investment required is P4.74 trillion of RE projects,” the energy official stressed.

On scaling up biofuel ventures, Fuentebella noted that the targeted investments will reach P118.9 billion, comprising of P114.1 billion for bioethanol, and P4.8 billion for biodiesel facilities.

The invigorated goals to ramp up biofuel ventures in the country will not only help reduce carbon emissions, but will also aid greatly in providing income-generating opportunities for Filipino farmers.

"The DOE also works on the expansion of biofuels application in support to the government’s thrust of lessening dependence on fossil-based fuels to improve public health and quality of the environment,” the energy official stated.

The energy efficiency and conservation (EE&C) space will likewise stimulate massive capital influx in the country’s energy sector. The ; and on DOE’s estimates, that already cornered P15.9 billion worth of investments as of April this year.

Fuentebella explained that EE&C investment flows “were made possible through the projects of designated establishments and energy service companies (ESCOs) covering technologies, such as efficient lighting, water-cooled packaged airconditiong system and high efficiency motors.”

The next terrain of investments being accelerated by the DOE is with electric vehicles (EVs) or electric mobility, including its loop of infrastructure support such as charging stations; and commercial-scale rollout is eyed mainly for the public transport segment, including motorcycles and jeepneys.

“The required investment for electric vehicles has not been taken into account since the Comprehensive EV Roadmap has yet to be developed,” Fuentebella said.

In that regard, the energy official indicated that the DOE is enthusiastically lobbying for the approval of the EV Act, with him adding that “once that is enacted into law, it will provide a clear direction on the national energy policy and regulatory framework on the use of the EVs.”

For the longer term carbon footprints reduction ambition of the country, the DOE emphasized that it is “looking at hydrogen as another viable and a cleaner source of energy.”

Fuentebella said there are studies, plans and initiatives as well as collaborative activities – including two memorandum of understanding with Japanese and Australian firms – with regards to hydrogen technology. He qualified though that “we have yet to see direct investments or potential on the said resource.”