QUEZON CITY, October 13, 2022 – Officials from the Department of Energy (DOE) and the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) announced in a conference yesterday the developments in government policies and programs to advance the energy transition in the Philippines, in particular Republic Act No. 9513 or the Renewable Energy (RE) Act of 2008.

“The DOE is preparing to amend the implementing rules and regulations of the RE Act to push investment in the renewable energy sector by easing foreign ownership limits, such that exploration, development, and utilization of inexhaustible renewable energy sources are not subject to the 40 percent foreign equity limit as provided in our Constitution,” said Gaspar Escobar Jr., chief of the Technical Services and Management Division of the Renewable Energy Management Bureau (REMB) of the DOE.

The announcement was made during the Fifth Renewable Energy Congress and Exhibit [1] hosted by the Center for Empowerment, Innovation and Training on Renewable Energy (CentRE) at the University of the Philippines Diliman Institute of Civil Engineering last October 12. Returning to onsite arrangements amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the Congress served as a venue for discussions on developments in the RE industry, specifically in terms of innovation, policy, and good practices.

“I really look forward to stronger partnerships between our university, civil society organizations, communities and the private sector in accelerating our transition towards a more affordable, reliable, and secure energy in the country. Kaisa ninyo kami,” said Dr. Fidel Nemenzo, UP Diliman Chancellor, in his welcome remarks.

Supporting the amendment of the RE Act’s implementing rules and regulations, Escobar then cited that a total of 998 RE contracts with an aggregate installed capacity of 5,460.59 megawatts (MW) and potential capacity of 61,613.81MW has been awarded by the DOE as of June 2022, generating around USD4.6 million (PHP270.8 billion) worth of investments for the Philippines.

ERC market operations service director Sharon Montaner discussed the Commission’s resolution on the adoption of Distributed Energy Resources (DER), to which the rules are set to be released in the coming weeks. According to Montaner, DER will allow a clear regulatory framework for the installation of RE technologies on consumers’ properties, giving individuals a vital role in the energy transition by contributing to the supply of renewables.

“We have to look at the demand side, because that is where we have a lot of potential. It is now consumers becoming producers of their own electricity given the capacity to export excess electricity to the distribution system,” she said.

Alberto Dalusung III, energy transition advisor of the Manila-based think tank Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities (ICSC), emphasized how crucial flexible and distributed generation is in the modernization of the country’s power sector. “When we have too many baseload power plants, we will have too much power when we do not need it and not enough when we do. What we need is flexible and distributed generation to have enough power whenever and wherever we need it,” he said during his presentation of the report titled Towards an Affordable and Reliable Grid with Energy Transition (TARGET) [2] in one of the deep dive sessions in the conference.

“To accelerate our energy transition, our programs and policies should be anchored towards resilience and sustainable development. By doing so, we are building robust community ownership of climate action, which can be honed by a competitive energy market, dedicated investments and targeted market interventions to increase the share of RE in Philippine energy mix,” said CentRE chairperson and ICSC partnerships and advocacy advisor Francis Joseph Dela Cruz.

[1] Originally launched in 2018, the RE Congress and Exhibit is a flagship project by CentRE in partnership with the German political foundation Friedrich Ebert Stiftung (FES), which aims to contribute to the growth of the renewable energy industry, especially micro-renewables. For more details, visit https://thecentre.ph/.

[2] The Towards an Affordable and Reliable Grid with Energy Transition (TARGET) report is an output of the regional initiative Clean, Affordable and Secure Energy for Southeast Asia (CASE) in the Philippines, with ICSC as its local expert organization and DOE-REMB as its political partner. For more details, visit https://icsc.ngo/portfolio-items/towards-an-affordable-and-reliable-grid-with-energy-transition-target/.

AC Dimatatac, ICSC: media@icsc.ngo, +63 998 546 9788, +63 917 149 5649


Photos by AC Dimatatac/ICSC