Increase in foreign equity for RE plants to result in 50k jobs – Envoy


Renewable energy, especially offshore wind, can bring in 50,000 “good-paying jobs” in the Philippines if the government would allow foreign entities to have a majority stake in these power companies. 

Citing the study by World Bank on offshore wind energy, Norway Ambassador to the Philippines Bjorn Jahnsen said that developing the RE sector can generate many jobs, but it would require adjustments and policies in the country. 

Under the current constitution, foreign investors can only own 40% equity in corporate entities developing or owning RE projects. 

While Republic Act (RA) 11659 or the Public Service Act of 2022 now allows full foreign ownership of companies in industries not designated as public utilities, the Department of Energy (DOE) earlier said last year that legislation is needed for foreigners to own solar and wind projects in the country. 

Norway is looking to “increase its imprint on renewable energy in the country.” Jahnsen said that offshore wind would be “an important new sector that presents great opportunities for the Philippines in the future.” 

According to the Offshore Wind Roadmap for the Philippines study by the World Bank and the DOE, the country has around 178 gigawatts (GW) of potential offshore wind resources. 

Jahnsen said that offshore wind is the “best wind resource in the Philippines”, especially with its growing economy and increasing demand for power. 

Earlier, foreign investors led by the American Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines had asked the incoming administration of President-elect Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. to lift the foreign ownership limit in RE projects to encourage more capital flow for solar and wind projects. 

Currently, only large-scale geothermal exploration, development, and utility projects are allowed to have 100% foreign ownership.