Philippines and Portugal to collaborate on renewable energy

TAGUIG CITY – The Department of Energy (DOE) welcomes the energy cooperation between Portugal and the Philippines in the areas of renewable energy (RE) and alternative fuels, like hydrogen.

Portuguese Foreign Minister João Gomes Cravinho in his courtesy visit to Energy Secretary Raphael P.M. Lotilla on Thursday, 27 July 2023, particularly cited the interest of Energias de Portugal (EDP) and EDP Renewables (EDPR) to invest in the country’s RE projects.

Portugal, as an early starter in RE, has similar challenges with the Philippines and is interested in DOE’s approach in developing and utilizing the country’s RE sources. Potential areas of cooperation include RE development and alternative fuels said FM Cravinho.

The Portuguese electric utilities company, EDP generates 74% of its energy requirements from renewable sources and aims to be 100% green by 2030. On the other hand, EDPR was established to manage, operate, and invest in the renewable assets' portfolio of the EDP. It is the world’s fourth-largest wind energy producer and is a global leader in onshore wind farms. Both wish to expand their presence in Southeast Asia through investments in the Philippines.

For his part, Secretary Lotilla shared the areas for cooperation such as the development of offshore wind (OSW) and floating solar, hydrogen and ammonia production using RE, liquefied natural gas (LNG) importation, and improvement of transmission and distribution lines in the Philippines to support its economic development and energy transition agenda.

The Secretary also expressed his interest in the experience of Portugal in repurposing and incentivizing the transition of coal power plants by using other alternative fuels such as co-firing with hydrogen or ammonia.

In 2021, Portugal decommissioned its two-remaining coal-fired power plants. The EDP coal-fired power plant in Sines closed in January 2021 while the Tejo Energia Pego coal-fired power plant closed in November 2021, which gave signals that coal exit is possible through a combination of carbon pricing, renewable energy investment and just transition planning.

The Foreign Minister conveyed that he will communicate the outcomes of the courtesy visit to the Portuguese Minister for Environment and Climate Action João Pedro Matos Fernandes to further discuss it with Secretary Lotilla in the forthcoming COP28 Meeting this coming December in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

The Foreign Minister, along with the members of his delegation, was accompanied by Philippine Ambassador to Portugal, Ambassador Celia Anna M. Feria, and Ambassador of Portugal to the Philippines, Maria João Falcão Poppe Lopes Cardoso. ###