Wind Power Could Cover One Fifth Of Philippines’ Power Demand: World Bank
Apr 23, 2022

The Philippines has the potential to install 21 gigawatt of offshore wind power by 2040, equivalent to about a fifth of its electricity demand by then, the World Bank said in a study released on April 20.

The energy department of the global development bank said that the installation of more wind power would naturally help reduce the country’s dependence on fossil fuels, which in 2020 accounted for about 79 per cent of its power generation mix, according to government data.

As per latest available figures, renewable energy had only a 21-per cent share in the Philippines’ energy mix in 2020, down from 34 per cent in 2008, mostly created from geothermal sources and hydropower. Power from solar, wind and biomass sources accounted for a little less than four per cent altogether.

High reliance on coal as power source

In turn, coal accounted for nearly 60 per cent of the 2020 mix in the country as many energy producers preferred carbon as power source.

Meanwhile, the Philippine government has committed itself to increase the share of renewable energy to 35 per cent by 2030 in order to fulfil its pledge of a 75-per cent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by that year under the Paris Agreement on Climate Change. Until 2040, the share of renewable energy should rise to 50 per cent.

Costs, infrastructure and ownership issues remain challenges for wind power

According to the World Bank, the Philippine waters have conditions that are “well-suited to offshore wind power generation.” However, there are challenges establishing a wind power industry in the country “at a large scale,” such as financing, transmission, logistics and ownership issues.

Offshore wind power generation is also more expensive than other forms of renewable energy, the World Bank said, noting that extensive transmission grid upgrades would be required to connect projects in order to bring costs down.

Another issue is the foreign ownership threshold limited to 40 per cent in the sector which makes it more difficult to attract potential wind power investments to the Philippines, the development bank said.

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