QUEZON CITY, December 1, 2023 – Leaders in the Philippine energy sector emphasized the pivotal role of renewable energy (RE) hybridization in steering the country’s energy transition agenda during the REalize 2023: Enabling the Just Energy Transition towards Inclusive, Resilient, and Sustainable Development conference held in Makati City on November 28. These leaders stressed the potential of off-grid hybridization to enhance sustainability, considerable savings, and heightened reliability in the energy sector. 

“The Department of Energy (DOE) is prioritizing addressing all RE-related development challenges, such as the complex permitting process, access to financing, price discovery mechanism for new and emerging RE technologies, and grid interconnection. We’re looking for various ways [to] minimize or optimize the use of existing facilities like reconductoring, or using alternative ways to address these problems,” said DOE Assistant Secretary Mylene Capongcol. 

“Everybody wants [electricity costs] to be lower. That’s an easy decision to make,” said Matthew Carpio, Head of Transaction Advisory at Climate Smart Ventures, a Singapore-based firm that advises companies on transitioning from conventional to sustainable and eco-friendly business models. “If you can switch from Php 20 per kilowatt hour (kWh) to something that is half the price, that’s a no-brainer, versus diesel. RE now can go as low as Php 3 to 4/kWh, at least for solar,” he added. 

Recognizing the role of the private sector, Carpio emphasized its capacity to serve as both financial and strategic partners in expediting the just energy transition. 

The Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities (ICSC)’s energy transition advisor Alberto Dalusung III also echoed Carpio’s sentiments,  pointing to the urgent need for collaborative efforts both from the public and private sectors. Dalusung also highlighted the importance of distributed generation, emphasizing its role in decentralizing energy production.

“We have a centralized grid design today, but we’re also a country with over 20 typhoons every year. These typhoons affect the power plants, which greatly affects the power supply in large areas. We know the problem of having various power plants close to each other, and therefore we need a more distributed system to spread out the capacity. There is a need for grid interconnection; that also means our transmission service provider should be able to handle an influx of new interconnection points within the system,” he said

However, despite concerted efforts, private companies and big businesses continue to face obstacles hindering their adoption of renewable energy. Findings from a study conducted by the Climate Reality Project Philippines (TCRP) and Sustainarumble have shed light on these obstacles, particularly on the public’s reception and low awareness about the DOE’s Green Energy Option Program (GEOP) and other RE-related initiatives, underscoring the need for collective action and strategic interventions to overcome these. TCRP has contributed efforts in promoting these programs, specifically GEOP, following its realized potential to advance RE targets and gain income savings for industries.

Tet Romualdo, owner of Linden Suites based in Ortigas, urged key energy agencies to promote and disseminate information about GEOP to its target audience. Linden Suites is among the first end-users to harness power from RE through GEOP. Following their switch in March 2022, the hotel has saved approximately Php 7 million in electricity expenses, representing roughly 8 to 10% in cost reduction. Furthermore, their switch attracted environmentally conscious customers, leading to increased revenues.

Conversations on energy sources have also become increasingly prominent, particularly in transitioning away from coal. Dongjae Oh, Head of Oil and Gas at South Korea-based Solutions for our Climate, said that while Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) has emerged as an alternative, there are associated risks that come with it, including high methane emissions and other environmental impacts, safety hazards, infrastructure costs, market price volatility, and the potential to stall the shift to renewable energy. 

“Accelerating the energy transition is vital to ensuring an inclusive, resilient, and sustainable energy system that contributes to improving the overall quality of life of every Filipino. RE transpires to be the only path we need for the transition; not fossil fuels. Renewable energy leaves no greenhouse gas emission compared to fossil fuels that contribute the highest to emissions,” said Nazrin Castro, branch manager of TCRP. 

“We can imagine and implement a Cleaner, more Inclusive, and more Resilient energy scenario for the country. Among the existing policy mechanisms,   the   Green   Energy   Option   Program empowers consumers and corporate leaders with the choice of RE. To integrate sustainability into our private governance spaces, whether in instilling energy efficiency of daily operations or in investing in increasingly cost-competitive and viable renewable energy technologies instead of risky fossil fuel assets, enables us to share in the co-benefits of climate action,” said Kairos dela Cruz, executive director of ICSC. 

Looking ahead to COP28 in UAE, ICSC’s Senior Policy Advisor Atty. Pedro Maniego emphasized the need for substantive action, warning against complacency and greenwashing: “Starting this week, the United Nations will hold COP28, or the Conference of Parties, under this backdrop of extreme urgency… With an oil chief executive leading this year’s climate talks in Dubai, we must be wary of any attempt to moderate the gravity of the crisis during the conference. Indeed, there is much to realize, beyond greenwashing, beyond going fast at the risk of the transition not being just, and beyond the closed doors of corporate boardrooms.”

Collectively organized by the Institute of Corporate Directors, ICSC, and TCRP, REalize 2023 takes stock on the progress of renewable energy development in the Philippines and provides insights on the opportunities and avenues for key stakeholders, especially the private sector, to support the just energy transition.


The Institute of Corporate Directors, is a non-stock, not-for-profit organization dedicated to the professionalization of Philippine corporate directorship by raising the level of corporate governance policy and practice to world-class standards.

The Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities is an international climate and energy policy think tank group based in Quezon City promoting climate resilience and low carbon development.

The Climate Reality Project Philippines is the country chapter of The Climate Reality Project, an organization that aims to catalyze a global solution to the climate crisis by making urgent action a necessity across every sector of society.


Sanafe Marcelo, media@icsc.ngo, +63