Chinese, US investors looking at Mindanao solar, hydro investments

Renewable energy projects, particularly the manufacture of solar panels and the development of hydroelectric plants, are among the opportunities that foreign investors are looking into, the Mindanao business lobby said.

Arturo M. Milan, president of the Davao City Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Inc., said Chinese businessmen visiting the city in March have raised the possibility of investing in solar panel production and putting up hydroelectric plants.

“(Renewable) energy development is among the key areas that not only the Chinese are interested in,” Milan said. He added that members of a delegation from Hawaii who were in the city last week also wanted to explore the potential of the green power sector.

Last week, a business and government delegation from Kauai in Hawaii were in the city to sign a sister city agreement with the Davao local government. Renewable energy is listed as one of the priority investment areas of the city government, with incentives such as tax holidays offered to investors.

Milan, however, said that government should look at how the investment climate in energy can still be enhanced, such as bringing incentives down to the household level. “We need to look at how we can encourage homes to use solar panels instead of relying on electricity from their distributors,” Milan said.