Philippines implements renewable energy incentives including hydro

Philippines Energy Secretary Angelo Reyes signed rules May 25, 2009, implementing legislation to encourage investments in renewable energy including hydropower and ocean energy.

The rules implement the Renewable Energy Act enacted in December, providing tax incentives to investors in hydropower and ocean, solar, geothermal, and biomass energy. Incentives include a seven-year income tax holiday, duty-free importation of equipment, and a zero percent value-added tax rate for power sales.

Although a third of the Philippines’ energy mix is renewable energy, including hydro and geothermal energy, the government plans to increase that to 40 percent over 10 years.

Reyes told a news briefing the government hopes to attract up to US$10 billion in renewable energy investments over the next decade. Local news reports quoted him saying the total renewable potential of the entire country is 200,000 MW, compared to existing generating capacity of 15,000 MW.

“Our objective is to double the power being generated from renewable energy sources, from 4,500 MW to 9,000 MW in 10 years,” he said.

State-run Philippines News Agency said May 24 the National Economic and Development Authority Cabinet Committee approved a 6.2 billion peso (US$131 million) Renewable Energy and Climate Change (REACH) loan facility of the Land Bank of the Philippines.

The funding is to provide medium- and long-term credit to sub-borrowers, enabling them to pursue projects involving climate change mitigation and renewable energy including small hydropower and solar, biomass, geothermal, and wind energy.

The European Investment bank is to finance 3.1 billion pesos (US$65 million) while the Land Bank provides the remainder through financing or sub-borrowers equity.

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