The Philippine government is looking at acquiring coal-fired power plants in Mindanao and repurpose them, as the country seeks to increase shift more into renewable energy moving forward.
Finance Assistant Secretary Paola Alvarez said the government plans to shift most of Mindanao's energy requirements to hydropower in a bid to encourage more investments in the region.
"We will acquire all coal-fired power plants in the region to repurpose them as we increase the capacity of renewable energy," she said in an online media roundtable.
Alvarez said the Finance Department is now in talks with the Asian Development Bank (ADB) for the pilot of the Coal Replacement Fund.
It is also in cooperation with the Department of Energy (DOE) for the feasibility studies on the business model on the planned acquisition of coal-fired power plants in the region.
"We will initiate our transition by exploring how sustainable finance can be utilized to improve the greening capacity of Agus-Pulangi Hydropower Plant in Mindanao," she said.
The World Bank in April approved a $700,000 financing agreement to fund the rehabilitation of the Agus-Pulangi hydropower plant.
Once preparations are completed, the WB would lend the Philippines an initial $100 million to partly finance the $150-million cost of the first project of the series of rehabilitation projects.
"The threats of climate change, environmental landscapes, and consumption patterns aggravate the country's longstanding developmental challenges," Alvarez said.
"Investments should be mobilized to address climate change and disaster risks," she added. — RSJ, GMA News