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Thursday, June 8, 2023

West Philippine Sea eyed as offshore wind power source

The new administration of President-elect Ferdinand Marcos Jr. should ask Norway to develop the West Philippine Sea as a source of clean and renewable offshore wind energy, just like the North Sea, Makati City Rep. Luis Campos Jr. said on Sunday.

“Offshore wind farms in the West Philippine Sea would be consistent with long-term plans to develop the area as the country’s energy hub,” Campos said.

The Malampaya deepwater gas-to-power project in the West Philippine Sea currently supplies 20 percent of the country’s demand for electricity.

“The advantage of offshore wind farms is that we can build them faster because they do not have land use and right-of-way issues,” Campos said.

Campos was responding to Norway’s assurance that it would help develop the Philippines’ wind and other renewable energy resources.

Norwegian Ambassador Bjorn Jahnsen made the pledge during a briefing following his meeting with Marcos Jr.

“Norway has the new technologies needed to put up offshore bottom-fixed or floating wind turbines. The Philippines would benefit from the eventual transfer of these technologies,” Campos said.

“We have no problem with allowing foreign companies that are majority owned by Norwegian entities to develop our offshore wind energy resources,” Campos said.

Campos said the development of wind power would help supply the country’s rapidly growing demand for electricity and create badly needed new jobs in the process.

“We have to transition faster to renewable energy such as wind, solar and hydro if we want to insulate the country from future global oil price shocks,” Campos said.

At present, Campos said the Philippines generates only 443 megawatts (MW) of electricity from wind farms that are all onshore.

Energy Development Corp.’s 150 MW wind farm in Burgos, Ilocos Norte is Southeast Asia’s largest wind power producer. It consists of 50 wind turbines spread over a 600-hectare site.


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