Wind power at sea seen helping Philippines curb fuel imports

·1-min read
FILE PHOTO: Transmission lines climb above the hills of Bangui Bay, 27 September 2005, to deliver electricity generated by wind turbines in Bangui Bay, Ilocos Norte, northern Philippines. The Philippines could use offshore wind power to meet about a fifth of its electricity demand by 2040, according to a World Bank study. (Photo: JOEL NITO/AFP via Getty Images)
FILE PHOTO: Transmission lines climb above the hills of Bangui Bay, 27 September 2005, to deliver electricity generated by wind turbines in Bangui Bay, Ilocos Norte, northern Philippines. The Philippines could use offshore wind power to meet about a fifth of its electricity demand by 2040, according to a World Bank study. (Photo: JOEL NITO/AFP via Getty Images)

By Cecilia Yap

With more than 22,500 miles of coastline and major cities close to the ocean, the Philippines could use offshore wind power to meet about a fifth of its electricity demand by 2040, according to a World Bank study.

Under a high-growth scenario, the nation could install 21 gigawatts of wind turbine capacity out at sea in about the next two decades, according to the joint report with the Department of Energy published Wednesday.

The country’s total offshore wind potential may be as much as 178 gigawatts, although 90% of that capacity would be in waters deeper than 50 meters and require more complex and expensive floating offshore turbines.

Utilizing wind energy could help the Philippines reduce its dependence on fuel imports, and allow the nation to cut its reliance on coal and gas, which currently account for more than 70% of electricity generation.

Hitting the 2040 wind power target would create as many as 205,000 jobs, add about $14 billion to the economy and allow the nation to avoid 480 million tons of greenhouse gas emissions, according to the study.

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