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Develop the West Philippine Sea as a source of offshore wind energy: solon

MANILA, Philippines — On Sunday, a congressman encouraged President-elect Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr.’s incoming administration to ask Norway to develop the West Philippine Sea as a source of clean and sustainable offshore wind energy.

Offshore wind farms in the West Philippine Sea, Makati City Rep. Luis Campos Jr. stated in a statement, would be consistent with long-term ambitions to develop the area as the country’s energy hub.

During a press conference following his meeting with Marcos Jr., Norwegian ambassador Bjorn Jahnsen promised to help develop the Philippines’ wind and other renewable energy resources.

“Norway possesses the new technology required for the installation of offshore bottom-fixed or floating wind turbines. The Philippines would gain from the transfer of these technologies in the long run, according to Campos.

In the West Philippine Sea, the Malampaya deepwater gas-to-power project presently supplies 20% of the country’s electricity consumption.

He claims that offshore wind farms have the advantage of being able to be erected faster due to the lack of land use and right-of-way concerns.

“We have no objection to foreign businesses with a majority stake in Norwegian organizations developing our offshore wind energy resources,” Campos stated.

He said that the expansion of wind power would assist meet the country’s fast-expanding electricity consumption while also creating much-needed new jobs.

“If we want to insulate the country from future global oil price shocks, we need to shift quickly to renewable energy like wind, solar, and hydro,” he added.

According to Campos, the Philippines now generates only 443 megawatts (MW) of power from onshore wind turbines.

The 150-megawatt wind farm of Energy Development Corp. near Burgos, Ilocos Norte, is Southeast Asia’s largest wind power producer. It is made up of 50 wind turbines that are scattered throughout a 600-hectare property.

Rep. Alfred Vargas of Quezon City, for one, expressed optimism that the country will attain long-term power and energy stability under the upcoming administration.

According to Vargas, economic recovery will be aided by electricity and energy sector stability.

“Given the new administration’s stated aims, I am sure that we can restore stability and sustainability to the power sector,” he said.

In view of concerns from experts that the country could face an energy crisis, Vargas said the government needed to attract more investment to the power and energy sector.

Last Saturday’s power disruptions in Luzon, which affected an estimated 1 million people, should be considered a “wake-up call,” he said.

“This occurrence, which has been blamed on a lack of power supply,” he continued, “is a strong warning that we cannot expect the power and energy sector to satisfy the demands of an economy recovering from the pandemic in its current state.”

Stable, reliable, and inexpensive power, according to Vargas, will also decide long-term and inclusive economic growth.

“More power and energy investors would bring the much-desired stability to our power supply.” As a result, investors in critical industries like manufacturing and tourism would flock to the area. “We create jobs in industries and places that have been hit by the pandemic as more investors come in,” he said.

With the predicted depletion of the Malampaya gas field in 2024, energy experts have warned of a coming energy crisis.

They also estimate that by 2040, the Philippines will require an additional 43 gigawatts of capacity.

“Power supply instability is a stumbling obstacle to our economy’s recovery, especially now that we’re gradually regaining pre-pandemic economic growth. However, I am convinced that the President-administration elect’s will be able to confront and handle this problem head-on “he stated

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