Photo: The Philippines' President Marcos and officials from the Department of Energy; Photo: Office of the Press Secretary

Philippines’ President greenlights offshore wind, green hydrogen plan

The Philippines’ President, Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr., has given the country’s Department of Energy (DOE) the green light to move forward with its plan to explore and develop the offshore wind potential as a source of clean and sustainable energy, and electricity for green hydrogen production.

The Department of Energy reported to the President that there are currently 42 approved offshore wind contracts with an indicated capacity of 31 GW, with a strong interest from the private sector, including developers from Denmark, Norway, and the UK.

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The Philippines’ DOE Secretary Raphael P.M. Lotilla said that, in addition to addressing the country’s energy needs, electricity generated by offshore wind farms can be used to produce alternative fuels such as green hydrogen, which then may be converted into ammonia.

According to a press release from the Government of the Philippines, the Department of Energy has already signed a memorandum of understanding with a Japanese and an Australian firm to expedite hydrogen research.

Within its plan to develop the country’s offshore wind potential, DOE has also proposed the creation of an Offshore Wind Development and Investment Council, composed of relevant government agencies that will serve as a one-stop shop for offshore wind developers.

The President has approved the proposal and noted that the DOE should handle the regulatory functions to streamline coordination and simplify the approval process.

“It should be the Department of Energy who should be talking with the OSW developers, in consultation with the council, of course. It has to be led by the DOE”, President Marcos said.

According to the World Bank’s Offshore Wind Roadmap, released in April, the Philippines has the potential to deploy as much as 21 GW of offshore wind capacity by 2040 and 40 GW by 2050.

“This is more than enough to cover the 500,000 MW projected peak demand the country will require by 2040 based on DOE’s medium to long-term power outlook”, DOE Secretary Lotilla told the President.

With the release of the Philippine Development Plan (PDP) 2023-2028, expected to be issued by the end of this year, the DOE is slated to release short-term action plans from 2022–2024 to guide the energy sector during this period.

The country’s long-term plan, the Philippine Energy Plan that sets out a 20-year path, includes energy sector initiatives and projects that seek to ensure sustainable, stable, secure, adequate, accessible and inexpensive energy.

In his inaugural State-of-the-Nation Address, the President said the government would prioritise clean energy and, at the same time, tap natural gas and nuclear power to meet the Philippines’ energy demands, according to the Philippines’ Office of the Press Secretary.

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