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40 European firms set sights on PH renewable energy market

MANILA, Philippines – About 40 European companies are set to visit the Philippines this month to explore opportunities in the local renewable energy sector, said an official of the European Union (EU) Delegation to the Philippines.

"Basically, the subsectors in which they are working in are solar generation, hydropower, wind power," Enrico Strampelli, head of cooperation of the EU Delegation to the Philippines, told reporters on the sidelines of a briefing in Makati City on Thursday, October 12.

Strampelli said the 40 companies, coming from 13 European countries, will attend the 4th Energy Smart Philippines on October 26 to scout for opportunities and business partnerships. (READ: Renewable energy is healthy energy)

These European firms are also interested in investing in electric vehicles in the Philippines, Strampelli said. 

"The idea is to try to assist and even increase the number of electric vehicles, especially for Manila and in the Philippines in general," he said.

The EU Delegation to the Philippines is also about to sign about 4 contracts with a combined value of €11 million ($13.04 million) for the utilization of renewable energy in the country's far-flung areas.

"We have full pledges. We have 3 in Mindanao for access to electricity. The focus is in Mindanao," Strampelli told reporters.

European Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines (ECCP) president Guenter Taus noted that the EU has allocated an indicative amount of €190 million ($225.22 million) from its cooperation budget of €325 million ($385.25 million) for job creation, including renewable energy, from 2014 to 2020.

"The EU has been actively supporting the Philippines in engaging stakeholders towards creating and implementing policies and programs that provide increased efficiency in energy use and renewable energy development," Taus said in the forum.

He added that the EU is financing local efforts to expand energy generation through the Access to Sustainable Energy Programme (ASEP), which aims to provide electricity to 100% of the Philippines by 2022.

Based on the Department of Energy's draft of the policy rules released in June 2016, the country's aim is to get the energy mix to 35% renewables by 2030. – Rappler.com

$1 = €0.843611