The President said the new legislation is the "first
and most comprehensive renewable energy law in Southeast
Asia" that would enable the Philippines to capture
a part of the soaring investments in renewable energy
development worldwide pegged at $71 billion last
"With our Renewable Energy Act, we can now move
aggressively to develop these resources," she added,
referring to solar, biomass, geothermal, hydropower,
wind and ocean-energy technologies.
"The benefits of renewable-energy use are considerable,"
Energy Secretary Angelo Reyes said also Tuesday.
"It will foster sustainable growth, energy independence
and economic security for the country, and unite
us with the global effort to stop climate change."
The new law--Republic Act 9513--provides fiscal
and non-fiscal incentives for renewable energy investors,
including tax credits on domestic capital equipment
and services, special realty tax rates on equipment
and machinery, tax exemption of carbon credits,
duty-free importation mechanisms, and income tax
holidays, among others.
The law also provides for the establishment of
a Renewable Portfolio Standard system, which would
require electricity suppliers to source a certain
amount of their energy supply from renewable resources
such as wind, solar, hydro, geothermal and biomass.
The standard would also be complemented by a feed-in
tariff system to encourage the speedy entry of renewable
At present, the country is heavily reliant coal
power plants, which are said to be one of the main
sources of greenhouse gas emissions, for bulk of
its electricity needs.
"This measure will ultimately ensure a market
for renewable energy, and provide a system that
will allow consumers to choose green sources of
energy in the long term," Reyes said.
Pieces in place
Industry officials said that with such incentives
and perks now present, the development of the country's
renewable energy sources, which have long been hampered
by huge investment costs and intermittent power
generation, would finally have the support that
The passage of the bill is also seen to help accelerate
the Energy department's target for renewable energy
sources especially at a time when the country's
demand for power is narrowing the gap with supply.
Under the Department of Energy's medium-term Renewable
Energy Policy Framework, the government aims to
develop more than 4,000 megawatts of additional
renewable energy capacity, some 1,200 megawatts
of which are planned to come from geothermal sources.
"While renewable energy development has been slow
in the past years, the passage of the bill is expected
to attract more investors to the industry, and help
cement plans of investors who had been waiting for
the bill's approval," Reyes said.
Catherine Maceda, Renewable Energy Coalition spokesman,
said, "The Renewable Energy Law is expected to usher
in an era of cleaner energy use in the country that
will benefit generations to come."
The coalition, a multisectoral group that had been
campaigning for the passage of the bill, projected
that the country could save up to $1.23 billion
with the development of some 4,000 megawatts of
electricity from renewable energy resources.
"This amount can be directed to fund other development
needs of the country," Maceda said.
Greenpeace Southeast Asia Executive Director Von
Hernandez welcomed the development, saying the Philippines
is on track toward achieving an energy revolution
that is key to addressing climate change.
"This signals that the Philippines is on track
toward achieving an 'Energy Revolution' which can
end our dependence on fossil fuels and move the
country into a low carbon emissions economy which
is a key solution to the problem of dangerous climate
change," he added.
In August, Greenpeace released the report entitled,
Energy Revolution: A sustainable Philippine Energy
Outlook, the first-ever comprehensive energy strategy
drawn up for the Philippine setting which shows
how renewable energy can become the country's energy
The report said renewable energy could provide
more than half of the country's energy needs by
2030. It added that the Philippines could save as
much as 40 percent, or $9.6 billion, in electricity
cost in 2050 by using renewable energy.
The report recommends phasing out all subsidies
for fossil fuels, stopping plans to construct nuclear
power plants, putting a moratorium on the construction
of new coal-fired power plants, and abandoning the
myth of "clean coal" and nuclear power as solutions
to climate change.
-- With Ira Karen Apanay