With support from World Bank Group, the Philippines Department of Energy has launched the Philippine Offshore Wind Roadmap
Funded through World Bank Group’s Energy Sector Management Assistance Program, the project aims to identify areas in the Philippines with the highest potential for offshore wind development.
The project also aims to establish short and long-term offshore wind targets; formulate strategies to successfully integrate offshore wind into the government’s renewable energy portfolio; and make recommendations on policies that are necessary to foster a conducive business environment for offshore wind investors.
World Bank Group commissioned BVG Associates to explore the technical, economic, environmental, social, employment and financing aspects of establishing an offshore wind market in the Philippines.
Department of Energy secretary Alfonso Cusi said, “As the Philippines pursues the energy transition, broadening our offshore wind prospects would help fast-track our ability to meet our goal of attaining a 35% renewable energy share in our energy mix by 2030. This project is an important milestone for the energy sector, as we continue to deepen our ability to harness the country’s renewable energy resources.”
According to World Bank Group offshore wind development programme co-lead Mark Leybourne, early estimates indicate the Philippines has more than 170 GW of offshore wind potential.
The Department of Energy has so far awarded five wind energy service contracts – Guimaras Strait Wind Power Project, Aparri Bay Wind Power Project, Guimaras Strait II Wind Project, Frontera Bay WPP, and San Miguel Bay WPP – with a combined potential capacity of 5 GW.
Speaking to OWJ in April 2020, the developers of the Appari Bay project said the Philippines had significant offshore wind potential and that, in the longer-term, the potential for floating wind in the country is massive.
Triconti ECC Renewables Corporation director Björn Rosenberger said the bottom-fixed projects it hopes to develop in the Guimaras Strait, in the central Philippines, and the Aparri Bay area in the north of the country, could have a combined potential capacity of 1.2 GW or more.
To be developed in phases, the Guimaras Strait project is an 800-1,200 MW project and that in Aparri Bay is a 600-800-MW offshore windfarm.
A World Bank report published in October 2019 found there were ‘reasonable wind resource areas in the northern and central areas of the Philippine archipelago, some of which are in waters shallow enough for fixed foundation offshore wind and that the Guimaras Strait has 7 GW of technical potential for bottom-fixed offshore wind.’
The report cited three main areas suitable for floating offshore wind, north of Luzon and to the north and south of the Mindoro Island. The largest of these areas is off the south coast of Mindoro with a technical potential of 53 GW.
The World Bank said there are also numerous pockets around the archipelago with areas suitable for floating turbines but with comparatively low wind speeds. ‘Perhaps the most promising area for floating wind is to the north of Mindoro which is near the demand center around Manila,’ the report said.