THE Asian Development Bank and its co-financing partners are considering investing some $1 billion in various renewable energy and energy efficiency projects in the Philippines over the next three to four years, beginning 2011.
According to Sohail Hasnie, principal energy specialist at the ADB, the Manila-based lender has had initial discussions with the National Economic and Development Authority and is just waiting for the incoming Aquino administration to look into the proposal.
Hasnie explained that it was ideal for the country to shift to renewable energy sources since the Philippines has high electricity tariffs; a lot of renewable energy available; and a good regulatory framework.
Most of the $1-billion funding will be in the form of loans, while a small part will be in the form of grants. On the renewable energy side, the ADB is looking into commercial application of solar resources, while on the energy efficiency side, it would want to focus on reducing consumption, particularly on large scale air-conditioning use in public offices and malls, among others.
Hasnie added that the Philippines was an ideal country to investment in, since it is leading the region on the renewable energy and energy efficiency fronts.
According to Hasnie, ADB has yet to work out the planned investment details with the Departments of Finance and Energy, after which, it will identify the implementing agency for these energy projects. (PIA-Bohol)