THE DEPARTMENT of Energy (DoE) is adopting a whole-of-government approach to expedite the processing of permits and requirements for offshore wind (OSW) energy projects.

The DoE issued the implementing rules and regulations (IRR) for Executive Order (EO) 21, which establishes the policy for OSW development.

Energy Secretary Raphael P.M. Lotilla signed the IRR on May 18, the department said in a statement. The rules will take effect 15 days after these are published in two newspapers.

“The DoE shall adopt a whole-of-government approach for the expeditious and reasonable realization of OSW projects,” the IRR stated.

The Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) will mandate a uniform set of local government unit (LGU) requirements, procedures, permits and fees in relation to OSW development activities and grid interconnection.

Under the IRR, all permitting agencies should come up with a complete list of permits and clearances related to OSW development projects to the DoE on or before June 18.

“Permitting agencies shall review and revise existing programs, and/or formulate new processes, if necessary, to institute an expedited, streamlined and consistent process for OSW Development Activities permits and clearances,” the IRR stated.

To fast-track the project rollout, the DoE will harmonize and streamline the process by integrating the identified processes to its Energy Virtual One-Stop Shop (EVOSS).

EVOSS is DoE’s current system that aims to hasten the processing of applications for energy projects.

Information integrated in the EVOSS system will then be used by the LGUs and agencies to process the permits from OSW developers.

Energy Assistant Secretary Mylene C. Capongcol said this administrative framework is needed as offshore wind technology is still new in the Philippines.

To date, the DoE has awarded 65 OSW contracts with a combined potential capacity of 51.23 GW, which is deemed enough to supply the country’s energy demand in the future.

Under the Philippine Offshore Wind Roadmap, the Philippines has an estimated potential capacity of 178 GW from OSW resources. This is expected to help the country reach its aim of increasing the share of renewables to 35% by 2030 and 50% by 2040. — AEOJ