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Post-COVID19 Thoughts and Views by Quintin Pastrana, Head of Business Development

● The new normal is going to be a more decentralized, digital environment, with perpetual disruptions — pandemics, commodity price and market fluctuations, supply chain and infrastructure logjams, community dislocation, socio-economic unrest, and survival risks for firms who do not innovate or reposition themselves.

● There’s a Chinese curse that says, “May you live in interesting times” and the Chinese symbol for crisis resembles the one for opportunity. This environment is an opportunity to expand our markets better than our competitors who are likely having difficulties coping with stranded assets, large overheads, and old utility thinking, and some — thinking they can rely on political connections to shore up their lack of technical and commercial advantages.

● To grow the market, WEG, CGP and our subsidiaries and partners have to think along the lines of:

Disruptors and Innovators — we need to strengthen our tech/IOT offerings given the demands for remote business and decentralization; implement best in class last-mile delivery solutions and services for remote communities and institutional clients that address their financial, aspirational, and sustainability issues. Developing more Sabangs with agrivoltaics and quick roll-out/ramp-up installation will help us secure a leadership position. We need to develop not only the PV market but the private grid space (Mangal type resorts and communities) to complement the QTP-type situations which may be stalled with more bureaucracy.

Thought Leaders — we need to position ourselves as leaders in the renewable energy, hybrid, and microgrid space to help policy makers, regulators, community leaders, design investment environments that allow rapid deployment with less friction and regulatory capture. We can show how we can build new Sabangs, Mangals, Zamboanga Ecozones, as good proof points to secure more deals but also use these as examples for government to champion a fair and level playing field and be flexible in the case of lone and unsolicited proposals for easier deployments.

Long-term and Comprehensive Partners — we need to fully develop our arsenal of tools — from technology offerings (beyond solar and into tidal, wind, storage, energy efficiency, etc) to financing options (loan, PPA, EPC, household microfinance), to creative sustainable solutions (how to manage permits, power factor issues, remote payment, and monitoring) that address companies’ vulnerabilities at this time, and showcase these projects across the Asia-Pacific and later on, where it is profitable and shows strong impact. More importantly, by creating an ecosystem of good partners across Japan, Indonesia, Philippines, Vietnam — we can create a one-stop-shop of solutions — energy, finance, community empowerment — that creates a virtuous cycle of growth and legacy for our stakeholders and shareholders.