The Department of Energy (DOE) is considering the possibility of marrying offshore wind with hydrogen in the coupling of technology under the updated Philippine Energy Plan (PEP) which will be released this year.
In a report by the Manila Bulletin, DOE director Patrick Aquino said that “on the government side, what is signaling is hydrogen would be preferred in renewable energy – we will tie it hopefully with offshore wind.”
Aquino added that the government started discussions in accelerating the upcoming PEP due to the pronouncement of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. on “hiking offshore wind.”
The DOE official noted that if the country can harness even only a fraction of the 178-gigawatt offshore wind potential, the Philippines will be “in a very energy-secure situation” and that there is pressure in terms of generating hydrogen using renewable energy.
However, in terms of policymaking terrain, Aquino noted that they have been carefully studying key elements like cost implications, transportation requirements, and standards, as well as safety.
DOE is considering the model template being pursued in the Downstream Natural Gas Industry.
Internal discussions in the DOE also include the potential cost impact should the country utilize hydrogen – either retrofitting gas-fired power plants or repurposing other facilities like refineries or creating new ones – including technologies that match renewable energy as storage systems.
DOE’s current “school of thought in policymaking is that everything is dictated by cost,” Aquino said.
The potential of hydrogen is being carefully examined by the DOE as it may turn into a driver for the government to firm up its policy on the retirement of aging fossil fuel plants.
Among the private companies that look to introduce hydrogen in the Philippines include Tokyo Gas Co. Ltd., First Gen Corporation’s partner in its liquefied natural gas project, and Aboitiz Power Corporation, through a memorandum of understanding with JERA Co., Inc.