Energy Dep’t Finalizing Deal to Develop Deep Ocean Power - BWO

THE DEPARTMENT of Energy (DoE) said it is close to finalizing a contract with a US-based firm to develop deep ocean power technology.

Department data show there are 16 potential sites for such development.

"We are just finishing the documentation. We need to sit down and proceed with their contract already. It means they are ready," Mario C, Marasigan, DoE assistant secretary, told reporters.

Deep Ocean Power Philippines, a unit of California-based Deep Ocean Power, applied to the DoE in February for 36 sites in the country covering 21,450 hectares to develop deep ocean power technology.

Deep ocean power technology utilizes "ocean thermal energy conversion" by capitalizing on the temperature difference between the warm surface water of oceans, heated by solar radiation, and the deep water which is colder, to generate electricity through a heat engine. The same power principle is used in steam turbines and internal combustion engines.

"That is just one company, but [there are] more than 16 sites. We are looking what [sites] we could already finalize," Mr. Marasigan said.

"We are now on the final stage as we have re-qualified them already," Mr. Marasigan added.

The DoE is promoting investments in renewable energy in the wake of the government’s approval of the Renewable Energy law last year.

DoE data indicate 16 possible sites in the country for ocean power development, including Davao Oriental, Camarines, Northeastern Samar, Bataan, Surigao, Catanduanes, Siargao, Tacloban, Ilocos Norte, Babuyan Island, and San Bernardino Strait.

Aside from ocean power, the DoE has also identified potential tidal power sites in the country which include the Hinatuan Passage in Surigao and San Bernardino Strait between Leyte and Samar.

From a current 4,500-MW capacity from renewables, the DoE is looking to double the figure to 9,000 MW in the next 10 years. The government also hopes to attract investments of up to $10 billion for renewable energy projects in that period.

Among the fiscal incentives offered by the Renewable Energy law are income tax holiday for the first seven years of operation, tax-free carbon credits from renewable energy projects, tariff exemption and duty-free importation of machinery and equipment for the first 10 years of operation, with power from renewable energy sources to be exempt from value added tax.

Non-fiscal incentives include the renewable energy portfolio standard, which includes mandatory utilization of renewable energy power in grids, and priority dispatch for power produced from renewable energy resources.

The Philippines is presently considered the world’s second largest geothermal energy producer and the largest wind energy developer in Southeast Asia. — Jose Bimbo F. Santos

Source: Business World Online

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