The Department of Energy (DOE) said it has awarded 78 offshore wind (OSW) energy service contracts to date.
'As of September 2023, the DOE has awarded 78 OSW Energy Service Contracts with a potential capacity of 61.6 gigawatts (GW). This is 180 percent of our current generation capacity. If all this potential capacity is realized, the country's per capita power consumption will finally be comparable with our Asean neighbors,' said DOE Undersecretary Rowena Guevara.
The Philippine OSW roadmap showed a potential of 178 GW of offshore wind in the country. This, she said, led to numerous applications for offshore wind service contracts.
'While the numbers look good, the process of bringing wind developers from service contract award to generating the first kilowatt-hour is a long one,' the DOE official said.
'We still have to work out possessory rights, environmental compliance, avoiding marine protected areas, sea lanes, etc. But we have already started the conversation with permitting agencies, industry organizations and our offshore wind energy service contract awardees.'
The agency had established the Competitive Renewable Energy (RE) Zones (CREZ) which would help identify 25 strategic areas in the country with the highest concentration of wind and solar resources.
Initial results indicated that the Philippines has a total potential capacity of 58,110 megawatts (MW) solar PV and 93,987 MW wind energy. By establishing CREZ, DOE has identified locations where the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines should develop transmission capacity and where renewable energy developers should locate their projects.
Other RE zones for geothermal, hydropower and biomass development were identified with a total potential capacity of 655,773 MW all over the country.
The DOE is planning to conduct an auction for offshore wind technology next year. 'We actually consulted with the OSW service contract awardees and they said next year would be a good time for them. So we plan to hold an auction that includes OSW by next year.'
The OSW technology was not part of the equation when the target of achieving 50 percent of renewable energy share in the country's energy mix by 2040 was envisioned.
'But then we have that as an additional source and the potential is also great even if the gestation period is even beyond the life of this administration. We hope we will be able to see already the fruits of using offshore wind before the end of the President's term,' DOE Secretary Raphael Lotilla said.