THE British Embassy-Manila and Department of Energy (DOE), in collaboration with the Asian Development Bank, South East Asia Energy Transition Partnership and the United States Agency for International Development, hosted the second Energy Transition Council (ETC) National Dialogue.
The Philippines is one of the participating countries of the ETC: an initiative launched in 2020 as part of the United Kingdom’s Conference of the Parties (COP) 26 presidency. The council provides a platform for solutions-based discussions and coordination among countries that require support for their energy transition, and with major international donors and institutions that offer assistance.
Since the first National Dialogue in March 2021, donor support for six priority technical-assistance projects relating to ancillary services, energy labeling, ocean and thermal energy, smart grid and energy-storage system, and offshore wind were mobilized via the Rapid Response Facility: ETC’s TA coordination mechanism.
The 2022 National Dialogue focused on the country’s policy direction and priority investments in clean energy and emerging technologies such as offshore wind, hydrogen and energy-storage systems aligned with the administration’s push for increased use of indigenous and renewable energy sources.
In her opening remarks, Ambassador Laure Beaufils of the UK said: “ERC is all about bringing the international community and private sector together to support the Philippines’s RE transition. The ETC’s Rapid Response Facility matches commercial, regulatory and policy assistance requirements arising from the dialogues to be matched with existing programs, or additional technical assistance.”
As co-lead of the energy efficiency working group, Ambassador Franz-Michael Mellbin of Denmark underscored that the Philippines has every opportunity to decouple future growth from energy consumption, and highlighted energy efficiency as “the first fuel to achieve energy security.”
With the country’s abundant natural resources, there is vast potential to harness RE. According to Undersecretary Felix William Fuentebella, “[the ETC] is very important, because it is the ‘forum of all forums.’ It is the one that basically coordinates all of us, all the partnerships toward one goal in making sure that we comply with our obligations under [the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change].’’
RE solutions have become more widely available, cost-competitive, and technologically proven, making them good business opportunities. Following the issuance of the Department of Justice’s opinion easing the 60:40 foreign equity
limitation on RE sources, DOE shared that it has amended the Renewable Energy Act of 2008’s implementing rules and regulations that will enable 100-percent foreign capital in RE projects, which is expected to attract foreign funding into the sector.
Senior government officials, diplomatic community representatives, donor-
institutions, civil society organizations and other key energy stakeholders attended the dialogue in support of the country’s power-transition goals.
The ETC also welcomed next year’s joint leads, namely the Royal Danish Embassy, GIZ (German Development Agency) and the World Bank. They will work closely with the DOE and ETC in identifying, coordinating and implementing targeted measures in specific energy sector areas: energy efficiency, clean energy, and reliable energy systems, to help accelerate the country’s energy transition.