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Philippines to launch offshore wind development roadmap

The Philippines Department of Energy (DOE) will launch a roadmap to develop its potential offshore wind power projects under the support of the World Bank Group (WBG).

The roadmap aims to “identify areas with high potential for offshore wind development; establish short and long-term offshore wind targets; formulate strategies to successfully integrate offshore wind in the government's renewable energy (RE) portfolio; and put forth recommendations on policies that are necessary to foster a conducive business environment for offshore wind investors”, according to a statement.

It said the WBG’s Energy Sector Management Assistance Programme (ESMAP) will be funding the roadmap.

DOE secretary Alfonso Cusi said the project “is another key milestone for the energy sector”. WBG Offshore Wind Development Programme has estimated that the Philippines has at least 170 gigawatts (GW) of offshore wind potential.

Infrastructure expert John Yeap of Pinsent Masons, the law firm behind Out-Law, said: “With Taiwan to the north and Vietnam to the west, the Philippines, particularly the northern islands, should be well placed to join its neighbours in seeking to exploit the potential for offshore wind. Unlike its neighbours though, the Philippines has a fully deregulated electricity market, which suggests that the commercialising of large offshore wind projects will be dependent on robust government policies, not just on ensuring the technical and economic viability of the sector, but also ensuring the required transparent responses in the electricity market. The study that has been announced would hopefully set out a clear roadmap for the development of this sector and in turn deliver the platform for investor confidence in the sector.”

The World Bank has selected UK-based BVG Associates (BVGA) to explore the technical, economic, environmental, social, employment, and financing aspects of establishing an offshore wind market in the Philippines.

DOE has awarded five wind energy service contracts including the Guimaras Strait wind power project (WPP), Aparri Bay WPP, Guimaras Strait II wind project, Frontera Bay WPP and San Miguel Bay WPP, which have a combined potential capacity of 5GW from offshore wind.

ESMAP is a partnership between the World Bank and 19 partners that aims to help low and middle-income countries to reduce poverty and speed up growth via sustainable energy solutions.

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