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South Korea expresses interest in renewables dev’t after PHL opens up foreign investment

THE DEPARTMENT of Energy (DoE) said South Korea is exploring “practical ways to cooperate” with the Philippines to help the latter achieve energy security via renewable energy, which was recently opened up to 100% foreign investment.

Soonchang Hong, Minister Counselor of the Korean Embassy, said during the 2022 Korea-Philippines Energy Forum Friday that the government of South Korea is deepening its understanding of Philippine energy policy and suitable technologies to further its participation in the energy industry’s development here.

In November, the DoE, citing a legal opinion from the Department of Justice (DoJ), announced that the renewable energy industry is open to full foreign ownership.

Energy Undersecretary Felix William B. Fuentebella said at the forum that the DoE is hoping that South Korea can help the Philippines achieve energy security through renewables.  

“Our collaboration in this opportunity is very important. We see more potential,” Mr. Fuentebella added.  

“The importance of energy has recently been highlighted due to the global supply chain disruption, climate change,” Mr. Hong added. In July, the Philippines and South Korea discussed possible cooperation in nuclear technology and renewables.

“Energy is emerging as a core factor in national security and carbon neutrality, and the Korean government is (hoping to come up with) a feasible and reasonable energy mix to include nuclear power and renewable energy and to secure strong resources and energy security,” said Sanglim Lee, Research Fellow of the Korea Energy Economics Institute (KEEI). 

Regarding the Bataan Nuclear Power Plant, “almost everything is complete. Our recommendation is we would like to support Bataan’s rehabilitation and reinforce safety requirements,” Sebin Cheon, senior manager at Korea Hydro and Nuclear Power Corp. told reporters on the sidelines of the forum.  

President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr. has discussed the possibility of including nuclear power in the energy mix to enhance energy security.  

The DoE has estimated a timeline of 10 years before nuclear power can be integrated into the energy mix. — Ashley Erika O. Jose