The Philippines plans to turn coal-powered plants to hydrogen

The Philippines Department of Energy has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Star Scientific Ltd, an Australian hydrogen R&D and deployment company, to explore green hydrogen as a fuel source in the country energy mix.

The press release, which was sent to H2 Bulletin, says that the MoU aims to explore the opportunity to convert the coal-based power plants to green hydrogen by using Star Scientific’s HERO® system. The partnership will look further into exploring offshore wind energy for the production of green hydrogen.

Star Scientific’s HERO® (the Hydrogen Energy Release Optimiser) utilises hydrogen and oxygen to produce heat and water without combustion. It generates heat with over 700°C in around three minutes, be used for heat exchanger systems, the company claims.

One key part of the MoU would be exploring small power systems across various islands that can be run on green hydrogen. There are around 7,640 islands in the Philippines, out of which nearly 2,000 are inhabited. Wind and water are abundant in these islands to make green hydrogen for powering small scale power plants in the archipelago.

“Thanks to this bold and visionary step by the Philippines, we can begin to see the reality of whole economies turning over to hydrogen and rapid acceleration to sustainable energy on a global scale. This is just the start,” said Chairman of Star Scientific Limited, Andrew Horvath.

The Philipines has been trying to add hydrogen to its energy portfolio for some time.  In the past, the energy department was in discussion with a Japanese company exploring the potential of hydrogen in the country energy mix. The Royal Dutch Shell also looked into the commercial deployment of hydrogen.

Commodity Inside, a consultancy, estimated that the Philippines generated around 110 TWh power in 2020, where thermal energy accounted for 76% in the total energy mix. Coal accounts for over half of the Philippines energy. It anticipates that there is a strong potential for wind energy market due to the country geographical position. It produced around 2 TWh from wind last year.

Engr. Haseeb Ullah

Haseeb covers the global energy market for both conventional and modern energy resources. His expertise is on the global energy supply chain from generation to distribution and end-users. He has a Master degree in Engineering Management and a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering.
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