DOE to issue policy on offshore wind investments

At a glance

  • Policies and frameworks on project permitting, grid integration and warranted port facilities would be the wild jig that will catapult final investment decisions (FIDs) of sponsor-firms for offshore wind projects.

The Department of Energy (DOE) indicated that it will soon issue policy and administrative frameworks that will guide investors into navigating the tumultuous and rough waters of offshore wind (OSW) investments following strong interests for gigawatt-scale projects in the country.

“We are working on policies that would minimize roadblocks, especially for offshore wind (OSW) installations,” Energy Secretary Raphael P. M. Lotilla said.

The strong interest for OSW came after President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr.'s issuance of Executive Order No. 21, a key policy foundation that unlocked potential capital flow with several offshore wind installations being planned across various sites in the country.

Part of the critical job of the energy department In instituting investment rules is to ensure that these edicts are not easily tweaked or washed away with the change of the tides  because if that is not guaranteed, the flow of those trillions worth of capital may instead be swept into other markets.

“In the coming weeks, the DOE will issue the policy and administrative framework for the optimal development of OSW resources, including speeding up the approvals of necessary permits,” the energy chief stressed.

Lotilla highlighted that their sharp focus will be “working with the concerned government agencies, local government units, and the transmission concessionaire to implement the directives of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. under EO 21.”

The present administration is undoubtedly attracting whopping investment-interests in the renewable energy (RE) sector - not just for offshore wind ventures, but on the multiplicity of technologies that are currently offered via the green energy auction (GEA) being administered by the DOE.

Nevertheless, there are still challenging deliverables that the government must sort out fast and with high degree of efficiency – primarily those on the streamlining of project permitting, upgrade of infrastructure facilities (including port support for offshore wind) as well as reliable and timely grid integration of the RE-generated capacities.

The DOE is also convinced that the government will eventually triumph in cornering those colossal investments that will not only shore up the country’s power supply but will also be providing valuable green jobs and economic opportunities to the Filipino people.

To facilitate these investments, he DOE specified that it is “directed to publish the policy and administrative framework for the efficient and optimal development of OSW resources in the country within sixty (60) days from its issuance.”

As emphasized, EO 21 “seeks to harmonize and streamline permitting processes and leasing fees under a whole-of-government approach and fully implement the Energy Virtual One-Stop Shop (EVOSS) system to cover all relevant government agencies and bureaus.”

Beyond fortification of policies, the DOE similarly reminded investors that there are available incentives that they can avail of for their RE projects as prescribed under the 2022 Philippine Strategic Investment Priority Plan (SIPP) – and that would be on top of the other perks like income tax holidays, duty free importation as well as tax exemption for carbon credits that are provided for under Republic Act 9513 or the Renewable Energy Act.