Under the new Philippine Energy Plan (PEP), the roadmap for the nation’s energy future, which will be presented this year, the Department of Energy (DOE) is carefully considering the prospect of fusing offshore wind with hydrogen.
The American Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines (AmCham) organized a forum on “Fuel for the Future: Development of Hydrogen Technologies in the Power Sector,” and DOE Director Patrick T. Aquino said that “on the government side, what it is signaling is hydrogen would be preferred in renewable energy – we will tie it hopefully with offshore wind.”
The Philippines will be in a relatively energy-secure position, according to Aquino, even if only a small portion of the nation’s 178 gigawatt offshore wind potential is utilized on a commercially feasible scale. Moreover, there is pressure to produce hydrogen using renewable energy on a worldwide scale.
However, the DOE official stated that when it comes to policymaking, the most important factors they have been carefully examining are, among others, the cost implications, the transportation requirements (including the standards required), and safety throughout the value chain. One model of regulation the department has been considering is the one already used in the Downstream Natural Gas Industry.
Aquino further stated that internal discussions at the DOE are centered on the potential financial effects of using hydrogen, whether for greenfield projects, such as its technology’s compatibility with renewable energy as a storage system, or for brownfield initiatives, such as the retrofit of gas-fired power plants or the repurposing of other energy installations, such as refineries.
Hydrogen’s potential is being carefully explored since it could one day become a motivating factor for the government to firmly establish legislation for the retirement of aging fossil fuel plants.
Takakazu Morimoto, associate director for Chiyoda Corporation’s Frontier Business Division, claims that hydrogen can currently be carried across international markets securely and that it can also be ramped up profitably based on the needs of the energy markets.
Nonetheless, Morimoto acknowledged that hydrogen is still seen to be expensive, with the majority of the cost mostly attributable to hydrogen as a crucial component in this technological solution.