06 February 2014 - The Philippines took center stage at the 2014 ThomasLloyd Clean Tech Congress Europe, held at the Frankfurt Convention Center on January 24. This year’s edition, themed “Meet Asia. Meet Renewable Energy’s Future,” brought together more than a thousand European investors and technology companies to discuss emerging business and investment opportunities in renewable energy infrastructure in Asia.
Owing to its strong partnership with Bronzeoak Philippines Inc., the Stuttgart-headquartered ThomasLloyd Group identified the Philippines as the conference’s focus country. ThomasLloyd and Bronzeoak Philippines Inc. are pursuing nearly US$ 500 million worth of investments in three biomass, one wind and two solar energy power projects in Negros Occidental, while another biomass facility is in development in Tarlac.
Investors were provided with an in-depth picture of the Philippine economy and opportunities in the renewable energy (RE) sector.
Senator Loren Legarda, during her keynote speech, highlighted the legal and regulatory reforms in place to support renewable energy investments such as the Renewable Energy law, Feed-in Tariff, Net Metering, Renewable Portfolio Standards, and Green Energy Option. Senator Legarda stressed that the country’s National Renewable Energy Program has set out aggressive targets on renewable energy development from 2011-2030, aiming to nearly triple the existing capacity of 5,369 megawatts to 15,304 megawatts by the year 2030.
Former Senator Edgardo Angara highlighted the core fundamentals and institutional transformation of the Philippine economy. Senator Angara noted that, with a renewable energy potential of between 150-250 GW, the sector has the ability to ameliorate the conditions of the 16 million Filipinos who are classified as energy-poor and the 40 million who are reliant on traditional solid biomass for cooking.
Philippine Ambassador to Germany Maria Cleofe Natividad, for her part, provided a snapshot of the Philippine economy and highlighted that the Aquino administration has focused on the principle that “good governance translates to good economics.” Investors were heartened to note key policy successes, such as the government’s anti-corruption drive, enhanced fiscal transparency, and improved tax administration, which have contributed to the country’s improved competitiveness and the attainment of investment grade status in 2013.
Former U.S. President Bill Clinton, who participated via live satellite link, highlighted that the Philippines is a good partner for renewable energy investors, and commended the Philippines as a leader in the use of geothermal energy. Noting the increased regional tensions in the South China Sea, Mr. Clinton predicted there would be an increased appetite for clean technology as it would provide energy independence and domestic economic security. He further highlighted the need for policymakers in Asia to make a better case for renewable energy and called for the development of a realistic analytical and financial framework for renewable energy that would make renewable energy projects feasible over the long run.
The Bronzeoak Philippines management team, led by its President Jose Maria Zabaleta, Jr., also briefed investors on the project cycle from concept to commercial operation, and provided status updates on all eight ongoing and prospective projects, which are expected to provide 190 MW to the national grid between 2014 and 2016. The San Carlos Solar Energy I development will be the first project to be implemented under the 2008 Renewable Energy law and the feed-in-tariff (FIT) rates.
At the end of the conference, ThomasLloyd CEO Michael Seig presented a US$ 100,000 check to Ambassador Natividad and Senator Legarda to be used for renewable energy solutions in schools affected by Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan).
ThomasLloyd is a leading investment banking and investment management group, solely dedicated to the renewable energy sector in Asia. The company operates 13 offices in 12 countries for its 37,144 clients, with approximately US$ 2.7 billion in assets under management or advisory services. Under its Cleantech Infrastructure Fund, ThomasLloyd has invested US$ 82 million in Bronzeoak’s renewable energy projects and is looking to invest an additional US$ 130 million for future projects. END