The Philippines hopes to attract $9-10 billion in investments in renewable energy projects over the next 10 years as a law giving investors fiscal incentives takes effect next month, a top official said on Monday.
"Our objective is to double the power being generated from renewable energy sources, from 4,500 MW to 9,000 MW in 10 years," Energy Secretary Angelo Reyes told a news briefing.
Around 15 local and foreign-linked companies have submitted letters of interest to develop projects, most of them involving wind, hydro and biomass, said Mario Marasigan, director at the government's Energy Utilisation Management Bureau.
These include First Gen Corp, Aboitiz Power Corp, Energy Development Corp, Oriental Energy, Green Power Philippines and Deep Ocean Philippines, said Marasigan, adding that state-run PNOC-Renewables Corp would take the lead in tapping renewable energy sources.
Electricity generated from renewable sources such as hydro and geothermal power comprise 33 percent of the Philippines' current power mix, and the government has said it hopes to increase that to 40 percent in a decade.
The Philippines can potentially tap more than 200,000 MW in renewable energy, said Marasigan.
Reyes on Monday signed detailed rules covering the Renewable Energy Act enacted in December, as the country aims to tap cleaner sources of energy and cut fuel imports. The rules are expected to be published this week and will take effect 15 days later.
The law offers tax breaks — including a seven-year income tax holiday, duty-free import of equipment, as well as zero percent value-added tax rate for power sales — to prospective investors in hydropower, solar, geothermal, ocean and biomass energy.
The Southeast Asian nation is the world's second-biggest producer of geothermal power, next to the United States.
Foreign firms are limited to holding a direct stake of up to 40 percent in any renewable energy project under current laws, Marasigan said.