By Catherine S. Valente | The Manila Times
PRESIDENTIAL frontrunner Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. believes that the Philippines can be a major offshore wind power producer globally under his administration.
If elected president, Marcos said he will push for regulatory and policy reforms to strengthen the country's potential as a major offshore wind power producer.
He said wind power, along with other renewable energy resources, can help the country lower its electricity rate 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 in a statement.
"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," he added.
According to 2019 data, the Philippines ranked third among Asian countries with the most expensive power rates at P10 per kWh, after Japan and Singapore.
The former senator said he is hoping that the offshore wind power roadmap, which is being developed by the Department of Energy (DoE) and the World Bank Group (WBG), will be completed soon.
The offshore wind power roadmap, he said, 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.
The WBG believes that the Philippines has approximately 170 gigawatts (GW) of untapped offshore wind potential.
To date, Marcos said the DoE has awarded five wind energy service contracts with a combined capacity of 1.85 GW for offshore wind projects: Guimaras Strait (100 megawatts), Aparri Bay (100MW), Guimaras Strait 2 (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, he added.
"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 said.