By Sheldeen Joy Talavera, Reporter

THE GOVERNMENT needs to consider coming in as an investor in offshore wind energy projects, an industry official said.

“Offshore wind is a big undertaking. Maybe the government wants to also have a stake there because… it’s huge in scale,” Jose M. Layug, Jr., president of the Developers of Renewable Energy for Advancement, Inc., said on the sidelines of a launch event last week.

Mr. Layug noted that PNOC Exploration Corp., a subsidiary of the state-owned Philippine National Oil Co., holds a 10% interest in Service Contract 38, or the Malampaya gas field development project.

“Maybe, government might want to be part of that first offshore wind project. I raised that earlier so the government could consider it,” he said.

Asked to comment, Energy Secretary Raphael P.M. Lotilla said any government venture into offshore wind would depend on the availability of funds.

“It depends on the availability of financing, but there are other ways where government can assist,” he said at the same event.

Mr. Lotilla said that the government can assist in terms of rights acquisition for users of submarine resources, the sea floor, and offshore areas.

“Where government can facilitate, we should be open to consider facilitating,” he said.

The Department of Energy (DoE) has awarded 82 offshore wind energy service contracts, with a potential capacity of 63.359 gigawatts (GW).

These projects are located in the north of Luzon, west of Metro Manila, north and south of Mindoro, Panay, and the Guimaras Strait. All these projects are currently in the pre-development stage, with proponents conducting assessments on resource volumes, site suitability, and project viability.

The DoE and the Asian Development Bank initially identified at least nine ports which can be upgraded or repurposed to service offshore wind operators.

Under the Philippine Offshore Wind Roadmap, the Philippines has an estimated potential capacity of 178 GW from offshore wind resources.

This is expected to help the Philippines achieve its aim of increasing the share of renewables to 35% by 2030 and 50% by 2040.