Wind power pushed to boost RE portfolio
The Department of Energy (DOE) said it would exert greater effort to harness the country’s massive clean sources of energy by reviewing the pertinent rules.
In a virtual press briefing, Energy Secretary Raphael Lotilla said the agency was in the process of assessing and enhancing the existing policies, frameworks and guidelines governing offshore wind projects.
In particular, he cited the administration of the wind energy service contracts for offshore development in terms of technical, financial, operational and administrative risks and challenges that come with it.
“This does not impair existing contracts and the existing offshore wind service contractors who are still bound to comply with their obligations,” he told reporters.
To date, the department has awarded 42 offshore wind service contracts with an indicated installed capacity of 31.5 gigawatts (GW). Identified areas are Northern Luzon, Verde Island Passage, Northern Mindoro and Southern Mindoro.
The largest undertaking in the DOE tally is the service contract awarded to Yuchengco-held PetroEnergy Resources Corp.’s (PERC) renewable energy arm, PetroGreen Energy Corp. (PGEC), for the 2,000-megawatt (MW) Northern Luzon Offshore Wind Power Project in Ilocos Norte.
PGEC had partnered with Denmark-based Copenhagen Energy to jointly develop offshore wind projects.
Energy Undersecretary Alessandro Sales said in the same briefing that it costs $157.5 billion (P9.04 trillion) — or $5 million (P286.98 million) per GW — to construct a floating offshore wind project.
Yet, Sales said the cost of putting up a floating offshore wind facility is expected to eventually go down once more projects of this kind will be deployed.
The DOE has been receiving “considerable” expressions of interest both from local and foreign investors wanting to venture into offshore wind even before the Department of Justice’s legal opinion stating that foreign firms are allowed to fully own RE projects.
“There are various nationalities including Europeans because as you know, it’s the Europeans that have had extensive experience in offshore wind and so this in particular area, such expressions of interests have been made by such companies,” said Lotilla.
As stated in its advisory, the review of relevant policies is in line with the DOE’s goal of making renewables the dominant source of electricity generation by 2040.
Lotilla said this was in line with President Marcos’ instructions to ensure a “good interface with investors who have expressed interests.”
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