THE Department of Energy (DoE) has partnered with the United States Agency for International Development (USAid) to work on the country's energy security.

The memorandum of understanding signed between both parties establishes the cooperation between the two agencies toward a shared goal of enhancing the security and reliability of the country's power industry.

USAid will funnel $34 million (P1.6 billion) through the Energy Secure Philippines (ESP) Activity, a five-year program focused on advancing inclusive economic growth and resilient development through increasing private investment in order to promote advanced technology deployment and boost the energy sector's resilience to shocks and stresses.

Through the project, "the US will work with [the] Philippine government and private sector partners to improve the performance and efficiency of energy utilities, deploy renewable energy systems, enhance competition in the power sector and address energy sector cybersecurity," USAid said.

USAid Environment Office Director John Edgar said the ESP shall participate in the following energy evolution challenges: advanced innovative energy systems in fishery and agro-processing industries; portable energy solution for the logistics chain of essential goods; and energy efficiency and conservation in local government units.

The US government will also mobilize more than $740 million (P36 billion) in private sector investment and help develop at least 500 megawatts of clean energy generation capacity.

"We look forward to building and sustaining new partnerships with diverse stakeholders across the energy sector whose collective efforts are required for a more competitive and advanced energy sector," said USAid Chargé d'Affaires John Law.

"The ESP will provide a wealth of opportunities for the DoE as we reevaluate the appropriateness of our current policies vis-à-vis our country's energy goals," Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi said.

Energy Regulatory Commission Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Agnes Devanadera expressed the regulator's full support in this project. "We have to bring in the synergy. We have to bring in the people component," she said.

"We hope to count on the USAid on the evolution of the Philippine Energy Research and Policy Institute, or Perpi," said Sen. Sherwin Gatchalian, who chairs the Senate Committee on Energy.

During the event, Law announced the "Energy Evolution Challenge," a grant facility that will fund proposals to advance research and deployment of innovative energy systems.

The United States and the Philippines are celebrating their 75th anniversary of diplomatic relations this year.