Foreign ownership of solar farms being considered

solar philippines

Sen. Sherwin Gatchalian revealed that legal studies are on the way to explore possibly allowing foreign companies to own and operate solar plants in the Philippines.

At a forum organized by the European Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines, Gatchalian said that the country was losing an estimated $30 million in foreign investments (around Php1.52 billion) for the establishment of solar farms due to constitutional limits prohibiting foreign firms from owning and running such facilities

“The sun is not a resource specific to the Philippines,” said Gatchalian, who chairs the Senate Committee on Energy.

Last year, the government allowed 100% foreign ownership in geothermal projects.

In his presentation, Gatchalian outlined Global Trends in Renewal Energy that are also the “pain points” that have to be addressed in the Philippines’ Energy Transformation Plan.

The first is the pledge to hit Net Zero greenhouse gas emissions, which private sector firms like Aboitiz Power Corporation and AC Energy have committed to achieve through various investments.

Second priority is the phasing out of coal and gas.

The Asian Development Bank (ADB), which has funded $42.5 billion into energy sector projects in Asia — 60% of which are coal-related — said in May that it will no longer fund the development of new coal plants.

In a related development, the ADB, the Philippines through the Department of Finance, and Indonesia formed a partnership for the phaseout of coal in the Southeast Asian nations’ energy mixes via the energy transition mechanism. The collaboration was announced at the sidelines of the United Nations Climate Change Conference, or the 26th Conference of the Parties (COP26), in Glasgow, Scotland.

Gatchalian also added that the phasing out of internal combustion engine, as well as investments in hydrogen and new technologies should be addressed and supported in the country’s Energy Transformation Plan.