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Investing in renewable energy limits financial risks — AC Energy’s Francia

FINANCIERS of renewables are able to limit their financial risks, because they can invest in smaller amounts on those projects, the head of one of the fastest growing Philippine energy companies said on Monday.

“The advantage of renewables, I should say, is that you can do your investments in digestible, reasonable chunks, unlike a large scale thermal plant where you typically invest billions of dollars,” AC Energy, Inc. President and Chief Executive Officer Eric T. Francia said.

“With renewables, you can invest in hundred or two hundred million dollar at a time (and) that manages or limits your risk,” he said, during a webinar organized by the Philippine Energy Independence Council and the European Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines.

Last week, Mr. Francia disclosed to reporters that AC Energy is planning to sell its stakes in its coal-fired power plant projects in line with its vision to generate more than half of energy from renewables by 2025.

He also shared that the Ayala-led firm was able to raise $300 million in green bonds last week. Green bonds are fixed-income instruments that are tapped to raise money for projects related to climate and environment.

During the webinar, he expressed concern on the possibility that no one will want to invest in the energy sector if the market experiences a sudden rebound amid the new normal.

“My concern is that we go to the extreme that nobody invests and we will suddenly have a shortage in 2023 (or) 2024, if the market rebounds sooner and stronger than expected. At least, we can hedge up a bit by having measured investments on the renewable space,” Mr. Francia said.

The AC Energy executive encouraged potential users and investors to make the most of the lower rates being offered by monetary authorities.

Shares in Ayala Corp. on Monday went down by 0.58 % to close at P850 each. Those of its unit AC Energy Philippines, Inc., which makes up the firm’s local energy projects, surged by 8.97 % to finish at P6.32 apiece. — Angelica Y. Yang

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