THE Department of Energy (DoE) said it is studying upgrades to ports that will service offshore wind projects, with support from the Asian Development Bank (ADB).
“We will be looking initially at nine identified possible ports that can support the development of offshore wind,” Energy Assistant Secretary Mylene C. Capongcol said during a forum organized by the Nordic Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines (NordCham).
Ms. Capongcol said the ports include those in Currimao, Ilocos Norte, Iloilo City, Bacolod City, Batangas City, Mindoro, as well as Port Irene in Sta. Ana, Cagayan.
According to Ms. Capongcol, no ports are currently suitable for the offshore wind industry, which will require new ports to be built or existing ports to be repurposed.
To date, the DoE has awarded 79 offshore wind contracts with a potential capacity of 61.931 gigawatts. All are currently under development.
“We have an increasing number of service contracts” for offshore wind, she said on the sidelines of the forum.
Ms. Capongcol said the screening process for the ports is ongoing, with a series of meetings with the ADB set to determine the ports’ readiness and upgrades needed to meet the standards of the industry.
The specific technical requirements include depth and spaciousness… because that (will determine) the size of the turbine that can be installed,” she said.
The investment needed for port upgrades has not yet been determined, she said.
NordCham President Bo Lundqvist said Nordic countries “are on the forefront across alternative sources of energy” such as wind, hydro, and solar, with the region having the highest electricity consumption per capita in the world.
“The secret source here is of course the conversion of traditional sources such as coal to sustainable options in water, biomass, wind. In particular, onshore and offshore wind farms are seen as a major accelerator towards meeting the carbon neutral targets from 2030,” he said.
“The potential for offshore wind farms is exponential (considering) the geography of 7,107 islands,” he said. — Sheldeen Joy Talavera