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SE Asia offshore wind market – opportunities and challenges ahead

Photo: Marcus Hand oseaoffshorewind2.jpg
Offshore wind is still in its nascent stages in Southeast Asia and is seen as having major potential, if also some difficult hurdles to overcome.

Speaking at the OSEA 2022 conference, Olivier Duguet, Chief Executive Officer of The Blue Circle, said that the Philippines as a land scarce archipelago had very impressive potential for offshore wind. It also has a wholesale market that is open to renewable energy producers, and is one of the most expensive in the region.

“If you take these different elements it makes quite an attractive long-term play for offshore wind,” he said. Duguet added that Philippines President Ferdinand Marcos Jnr is very keen on offshore wind and wants the country to be a leader in offshore wind in the future.

However, the path to market for offshore wind in the Philippines was not there as yet.

As it stands The Blue Circle is still struggling to build its first onshore wind project in the Philippines so talking about financing an offshore wind project in the Philippines would be a challenge.

Looking at Vietnam Dr Viet-Hung Ngyyen, Chief Executive Officer of CTE Wind Vietnam, said the market for wind energy in Vietnam was very young but now there was a good pipeline for onshore and offshore projects. The Vietnam government is preparing a new policy and plans for electricity generation.

Duguet cautioned it will take a long lead time to develop a project offshore and that as a developer he could say that projects will usually suffer delays.

Monsoon seasons in the Southeast Asian region also mean that offshore wind cannot be relied on all year round as there will be two months of the year when the monsoon season shifts and winds will be very low. “Yes, we can replace coal by wind, but by wind plus something else,” Duguet said.