Through this strategic learning visit, the UK government and the industry reaffirm their strong commitment to supporting the efforts of the Philippines and its partner countries in their offshore wind journey and its role in the acceleration of the clean energy ambition. The site visits also amplified the critical role of the industry and importance of developing the offshore wind supply chain hand-in-hand with the government’s regulatory and policy objectives in building a successful offshore wind farm. While recognizing the importance of collaboration among sector regulators and industry practitioners, Head of the Delegation, DOE Undersecretary Rowena Cristina L. Guevara, emphasized that an offshore wind inter-agency committee in the Philippines is needed to facilitate offshore wind development in the country. Among the agencies that joined the DOE in the learning visit were Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC), TransCo, Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA), National Mapping and Resource Information Authority (NAMRIA), Bureau of Customs (BOC), Board of Investments (BOI), Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) and National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP).
The Philippine Government has expressed its goal to increase the use of renewable energy resources. Under the National Renewable Energy (RE) Program 2020-2040, the Philippines set a target of 35% share of RE in the generation mix by 2030 and 50% by 2040. In April 2022 the Philippine Offshore Roadmap was launched. To date, the DOE has awarded 55 offshore wind service contracts with aggregate capacity of 40.68 GW and is drafting the policy and regulatory framework for offshore wind development. The visit provided an opportunity for the delegation to meet relevant UK regulators and industry stakeholders for knowledge sharing of best practices, regulatory frameworks and industry development, and potential opportunities for UK-Philippines collaboration in offshore wind. Technical discussions cutting across significant stages in an offshore wind project lifecycle were held covering topics that include: Consenting, Contract for Difference (CfD), Marine Spatial Planning & Leasing, Permitting & Licensing, Grid Development, Offshore Electricity Transmission (OFTO), Financing & Bankability, and Industry & Supply Chain Development.
A Round Table Discussion was held with the UK industry where some of the leading UK companies with offshore wind projects progressing in the Philippines shared best practices, lessons learnt, and experiences in support of the Philippine government’s goal to successfully develop a competitive offshore wind industry from concept to detailed implementation. As a pioneer in the industry, the UK has a depth of expertise and capabilities in offshore wind, a key part of the UK’s energy transition and energy security strategy. In his address to the Philippine delegation, Ashley Ibbett, Director General for Energy Infrastructure in the newly formed Department for Energy Security and Net Zero underscored that renewable energy power sources such as wind have a critical role in the fight against climate change and the need to work together to share experiences and maximise the speed of the transition. Through the UK-led Energy Transition Council dialogue process, the UK is providing technical assistance to the DOE on marine spatial planning and licensing and permitting, which will be delivered through the Southeast Asia Energy Transition Partnership.
The UK Government’s Department for Business and Trade (DBT) and the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) of the British Embassy Manila, in coordination with the Department of Energy Security and Net Zero (DSENZ), hosted a Philippine delegation, led by the Department of Energy (DOE), for an offshore wind focussed strategic learning visit in the UK from 13 to 17 February 2023. With the support of DBT Northern Powerhouse & Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult (OREC), the Philippine delegation visited the OREC’s Floating Offshore Wind Centre of Excellence (FOW CoE) in Blyth, AIS Survivex in Newcastle, as well as OREC’s O&M Centre for Excellence at the Port of Grimsby. OREC’s FOW CoE was established to drive innovation and accelerate the build-out of floating offshore wind farms, create opportunities for the UK supply chain, and spur growth in manufacturing, installation and O&M; while AIS Survivex, the UK’s largest renewable energy training centre, expanded capabilities in the sector. Through the successful transformation of the port town of Grimsby into an energy centre, the delegation learnt about the positive economic impact the offshore wind industry could generate.