A new agreement signed by the governments of the United Kingdom and the Philippines is expected to boost British involvement in South East Asia’s burgeoning energy sector, and promote sustainable and Renewable Energy technologies.Manila, Philippines – January 14, 2003 [SolarAccess.com] The deal will see both countries joining forces to develop their power industries and will particularly focus on expanding sustainable energy technology and its applications. Signing on behalf of the UK, Energy Minister Brian Wilson said the agreement presented a great opportunity for Britain to share its expertise in the energy industry and for UK companies to look to the Philippines both as a market and regional center. “Energy is the number one sector of the Philippines economy where engagement by British companies is already strong,” said Wilson. “This new framework for cooperation will go right across the spectrum – oil and gas, transmission infrastructure, clean coal technology and renewables. “I am particularly pleased that it has the active encouragement of the World Wildlife Fund which recognizes the environmental benefits which cooperation can bring. We will look at supporting a Center of Excellence in sustainable technologies which would give British companies a springboard into the whole region. Demand for electricity in the Philippines is estimated to grow by around five percent per year to 2009. The government has announced that it intends to shift away from a reliance on imported oil for its future energy needs. “The geography of the Philippines means that they do not need only large-scale transmission systems but also a great deal of distributed and Renewable Energy in order to bring the huge benefits of electrification to the whole country,” said Wilson. “Their current reliance on coal-fired generation means that there are particular benefits from cleaning up that part of their industry – as is true in many Asian countries.” The agreement on Collaboration in Power Sector Development and Sustainable Energy Research and Development and Technology Transfer will enable both countries to share tasks, facilities and experts, and will lead to the establishment of a Center of Excellence, based in the Philippines to cover energy technologies and power generation. Under the agreement both countries have pledged to pool resources to develop: Renewable Energy technologies, including wind and wave power; biomass; geothermal and solar technology; Cleaner fossil fuel technologies and power sector management techniques. The agreement will enable the countries to exchange scientific and technical information, including the results of research; to exchange scientists, engineers and other specialists, including those from industry; and to share work and costs of programs and projects.