Bongbong sees PH as global offshore wind-power juggernaut

Bongbong sees PH as global offshore wind-power juggernaut

Photo courtesy by Sumitomo Corp

MANILA — Presidential frontrunner Ferdinand ‘Bongbong’ Marcos said he would push for regulatory and policy reforms to enable the country to realize its potential as a major offshore wind power producer globally after he wins in the upcoming 2022 national elections.

The UniTeam presidential bet believes that wind power, along with other Renewable Energy (RE) sources, can help the country lower its electricity rate over the long term and become a competitive destination for foreign investments in a post-pandemic environment.

“We have the potential to be a major wind power producer in the world. Our unique topography is very suitable for building offshore wind farms and we should take advantage of it to produce cheap electricity,” Marcos said.

“We need to be competitive in a post-pandemic global economy and having low electricity rates is crucial in drawing in more foreign direct investments as we pursue aggressive growth targets,” Marcos added.

According to 2019 data, the Philippines ranks third among Asia countries with the most expensive power rates at P10 per kWh, after Japan and Singapore.

Marcos is also hoping for the completion of the offshore wind power roadmap being developed by the Department of Energy (DoE) and the World Bank Group, which is expected to be ready within the month.

The offshore wind power roadmap will ensure that adequate rules and regulations are in place to guide the government in working with all industry stakeholders.

“It would be good to have the roadmap completed at the soonest possible time since it will provide us with the policy framework to fast-track the deployment of wind farms in the country,” Marcos added.

According to the World Bank Group, the Philippines has approximately 170 gigawatts (GW) of untapped offshore wind potential.

To date, the DoE has awarded five wind energy service contracts with a combined capacity of 1.85 GW for offshore wind projects; Guimaras Strait (100MW), Aparri Bay (100MW), Guimaras Strait II (600MW), Frontera Bay (450MW), and San Miguel Bay (600MW) which are all expected to be completed in 2031.

The Doe has also received nine additional letters of intent for offshore projects with a total capacity of 12GW.

“Low electricity rates and a steady supply of it are important considerations for would-be investors. As such, we are pushing for the wider use of renewable energy sources as we veer away from our reliance on imported oil,” Marcos stressed.

A Norwegian consulting firm predicts that offshore wind’s contribution to the energy mix of nations will increase to 40% of total wind energy production from 29GW in 2019 to 1,748 by 2050.

The firm also expects technological breakthroughs in floating offshore wind, another subsector, would widen its adoption as it would redound to reduced costs and increased production. (ai/mtvn)

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