Philippines an emerging wind power market in Asia – report

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippines is among the emerging wind power markets to watch out for in Asia with a strong pipeline and opportunities for wind power projects, the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC) said in a recent report.

In the Global Wind Report 2022, GWEC said new wind capacity is expected to come  from Japan, Pakistan and emerging markets of Southeast Asia – mainly the Philippines, Laos, Thailand and Indonesia, as well as in central Asia—Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan.

Globally, GWEC Market Intelligence expects 557 gigawatts (GW) of new capacity—or more than 110 GW of new installations each year until 2026 – will be added in the next five years under current policies.

“Southeast Asia and central Asia are likely to make up 16 percent and eight percent of the new capacity expected for this region in the next five years,” the international trade association for wind power industry said.

While wind energy development has stalled in the last four years on lack of ambitious targets or schemes and poor policy coordination, GWEC said the Philippines’ transition away from coal will be a crucial drive for large scale deployment of renewable energy.

As of end-2020, data from the Department of Energy (DOE) showed renewable energy corners only 21 percent of the country’s total power generation mix while coal dominated the mix with 57.2 percent.

This is set to change as the DOE, under the latest Philippine Energy Plan (PEP), targets a 35 percent renewable share of the power mix by 2030, rising to 50 percent by 2040. This would require an additional 73.9 GW of renewable capacity over the next two decades.

GWEC said the Philippines has introduced several pro-renewables policies amid an energy transition toward energy self-sufficiency.

This includes the upcoming Green Energy Auction Program (GEAP), an opportunity seen to reactivate the dormant wind and solar markets.

Introduced in 2020, the GEAP aims to provide additional market options through auctioning 2,000 megawatts (MW) of renewable capacity, giving bidders a chance to bag power purchase agreements (PPAs) and 20-year Feed in Tariff (FIT) rate capped with a green energy auction reserve (GEAR) price.

Under auction to be implemented in June, 380 MW of wind capacity in Luzon and Visayas will be offered.

In terms of service licenses, the DOE has issued Renewable Energy Service Contracts to a total volume of 3,524 MW of wind projects.

Meanwhile, the GWEC said “more ambitious renewable energy targets, and a schedule of continuous and regular capacity procurement for specific renewable energy technologies, will help encourage local value chain investment and restore confidence in the wind sector’s growth prospects.”

Based on conservative assumptions by National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) dating from 2020, the Philippines – particularly in northern and central Batanes and Luzon areas – has an onshore wind technical potential of 76 GW.

GWEC also cited offshore wind development on the horizon, as the DOE is also developing an offshore wind roadmap with the support of the World Bank Group’s Energy Sector Management Assistance Program-International Finance Corp. (ESMAP-IFC)Offshore Wind Development Program.

“Against this background is a series of topline news around the grant of a service license to several industry players in the offshore wind business, indicating the government’s ambitions to kickstart the offshore wind sector,” the association said.

The roadmap identified six different zones in the Philippines suitable for offshore wind development.

It also said that by 2040, the country has the potential to develop three GW of offshore wind in a low growth scenario and up to 21 GW in a high growth scenario. By 2050, it can have as much as 40 GW of offshore wind installations.

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