Saturday, July 13, 2024

Lawmaker Wants Streamlined LGU Permits For Cleaner Energy Ventures

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Lawmaker Wants Streamlined LGU Permits For Cleaner Energy Ventures

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A lawmaker on Tuesday stressed the need to streamline the investment rules on clean energy development ventures, particularly in obtaining permits at the local government unit level (LGU), to boost the proportion of renewables in the power mix.

Citing a report by London-based global energy think tank Ember, Camarines Sur 3rd District Rep. Luis Raymund Villafuerte Jr. said in a news release that the government should generate more investments in renewable energy (RE) to reduce the continued dependence on fossil fuels for electrical needs.

He said this move would also help achieve the Department of Energy’s cleaner energy transition goal of achieving the national RE power generation mix target of 35 percent by 2030 and the aspirational target of 50 percent by 2040.

Ember’s findings showed that coal in electricity generation actually rose for the 15th consecutive year in 2023, accounting for almost 62 percent of all power generated in the Philippines, from about 59 percent in 2022.

“Hence, the need for the further streamlining of our investment rules, especially with regard to the issuance by host-LGUs of business permits to RE investors, with an eye to generating more clean energy,” Villafuerte said.

Villafuerte said further streamlining of RE investment rules should be high on the agenda of the 36-member Investment Promotion Unit Network (IPU-Net), which met for the first time recently to tackle recurring issues facing both foreign and local investors.

In a report, the IPU-Net discussed key investor concerns, including customs procedures, tax-related issues, applications for licenses to operate, process of land conversion, applications for tree-cutting permits, energy transmission issues and securing favorable endorsements from LGUs.

Among the recommendations to avoid delays in government processes include “the adoption of strategies aimed at the digitalization of government operations, streamlining business registration and land conversion applications and securing favorable endorsements from LGUs, among others.”

Under the Philippine Energy Plan 2020-2040, the country is projected to require an additional capacity of 92.3 gigawatts of RE power by 2040 that will require total investments worth about PHP5.8 trillion.

Villafuerte said the government needs to generate more RE investments, especially in variable sources like wind and solar power, which are relatively faster and cheaper to deploy. (PNA)