Pur­sue re­new­able en­ergy

Sun Star Bacolod - - Opinion -

WHICH means that we also re­sist all plans to build coal fired power plant and other ex­trac­tive and de­struc­tive en­ergy sys­tems in Ne­gros.

I un­der­stand the flip flop­ping of Vice Gover­nor Bong Lac­son on the is­sue of pro­posed coal fired power plant in San Car­los. He may be fac­ing some so­cial and per­sonal cir­cum­stances that presses him to take the neu­tral or safe stand. Still, I be­lieve his staunch ad­vo­cacy for re­new­able en­ergy when he was the mayor of San Car­los City con­tin­ues to fire him.

This time, the green ac­tivists and all con­cerned sec­tors in Ne­gros are given the big­ger re­spon­si­bil­ity to gen­er­ate a crit­i­cal mass pur­sue to frus­trate the pro­posed coal plant, while pro­mot­ing re­new­able en­ergy, and hop­ing they could strengthen the heart of Vice Gov Lac­son to take clearer and firmer stand for re­new­able en­ergy.

I have made re­peated calls that pro­mot­ing re­new­able en­ergy like so­lar, wind, hydro, geo­ther­mal, wave, and hy­brid com­bi­na­tions of th­ese is the best en­ergy road map for our re­gion and coun­try.

In fact, re­new­able en­ergy has been steadily gain­ing head­way in the Philip­pines, not only in off-grid ar­eas, but even ur­ban­ized com­mu­ni­ties where ameni­ties of ‘mod­ern life’ are well pro­vided.

De­trac­tors and apol­o­gists ar­gue that shift­ing from the cur­rent en­ergy sources to re­new­able ones would be costly for ex­ist­ing struc­tures and op­er­a­tions of big com­mer­cial busi­ness.

They also ar­gue that wind and so­lar en­ergy tech­nolo­gies are in­ter­mit­tent, as there are only few chan­nels or places where the wind speed is suf­fi­cient and con­tin­u­ous, and that we don’t get much sun ex­po­sure dur­ing the

months of June to Septem­ber, Novem­ber to De­cem­ber.

They in­sist that the ini­tial cap­i­tal costs for re­new­able en­ergy sources are still ex­pen­sive and the poor fam­i­lies can­not af­ford them.

But th­ese con­cerns have al­ready been solved, and in fact in some ar­eas, projects have al­ready been proven vi­able and sus­tain­able, fi­nan­cially and tech­ni­cally. The Philip­pine govern­ment has also drawn sup­port and in­cen­tives in sup­port of re­new­able en­ergy ini­tia­tives of the pri­vate sec­tor, as clearly shown in Re­new­able En­ergy Act of 2008.

Tech­nol­ogy sci­en­tists, in­no­va­tors and en­gi­neers are al­ready mak­ing ad­vances in con­trol­ling the in­ter­mit­tence of re­new­able en­ergy by de­vel­op­ing power stor­ages, hy­brid gen­er­a­tors which au­to­mat­i­cally con­nect to main grid lines if there is low sup­ply of re­new­able en­ergy.

Hav­ing a train­ing in elec­tri­cal en­gi­neer­ing and re­new­able en­ergy sys­tems my­self, I have been per­son­ally and pro­fes­sion­ally in­volved with non govern­ment de­vel­op­ment or­ga­ni­za­tions and so­cial en­ter­prise groups in plan­ning, de­sign­ing and in­stal­la­tion com­mu­nity-based re­new­able en­ergy sys­tems for ru­ral house­hold elec­tri­fi­ca­tion, so­lar wa­ter sys­tem for drink­ing and farm ir­ri­ga­tion, com­mu­nity so­lar street lights, and for run­ning cer­tain small ma­chines.

Re­new­able en­ergy is grad­u­ally al­ter­ing the world view of our com­mu­nity folk and even the NGOS per­son­nel on earth’s re­sources, and slowly de­vel­op­ing in them the dis­ci­pline in the uti­liza­tion of en­ergy.

In re­new­able en­ergy, dis­ci­pline is needed. One has to use en­ergy when needed; no lux­u­ri­ous fa­cil­i­ties that con­sume lots of power; live sim­ple and fru­gal life­style; store en­ergy when not in use; re­cy­cle ev­ery­thing to pro­duce an­other item and ac­tiv­ity, are just among the many prin­ci­ples that our com­mu­nity folk are be­gin­ning to learn and em­brace as a new way of life.

For ar­chi­tects and en­gi­neers, re­new­able en­ergy has also helped open the de­vel­op­ment of green ar­chi­tec­ture and en­gi­neer­ing, in­te­grat­ing more nat­u­ral sun and air in struc­tures and use of ma­te­ri­als. Thus, we now have green ar­chi­tec­ture and en­gi­neer­ing, less­en­ing use of air con­di­tioned fa­cil­i­ties, fans and lights, and em­ploy­ing nat­u­ral ven­ti­la­tion and light­ing sys­tems. PUR­SUE 11

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