RP ready for renewable energy –Angara

September 7, 2009 11:06 pm 

MANILA, Sept. 8 — Senator Edgardo Angara on Tuesday said the first-ever International Renewable Energy and Agriculture Conference (REACT 2009) has produced last week some invaluable insights for the government, academe, research experts and industry leaders to consider in their pursuit of sustainable, alternative source for energy for the country.

The event, hosted by the Office Sen. Angara and the Congressional Commission on Science and Technology and Engineering (COMSTE), was aimed at gathering the energy sector's domestic and international leaders to come up with a resolution that would serve as guideline for the Philippines to pioneer innovations in the renewable energy sub-sector tapping the country's agro-marine wealth.

"This gathering will not only highlight the potentials of the Philippines as a leader in the renewable energy sub-sector in the region but will also prove how rich and diverse our marine and agriculture environment is –ranked on the top list of the world. This will usher in a new beginning for our agro-marine resources a model of green technology that the rest of the world will look up to, starting with our attitude towards the environment and the management of our households. This should transform our thinking of reliance on oil into a strong drive to tap the resources we have around us," Angara said.

Austria's Dr. Robert Wimmer talked about Green Building Technologies and how architecture can drastically reduce the country's need for electricity by cutting down on heating and cooling needs, Angara added.

"Heating and cooling and ventilation make up for more than 50 percent of the electricity consumption of every household. The need for cooling or heating households can be solved by architecture, where most often, indigenous building materials actually help insulate households against the local climate," the senator claimed.

"Transforming fossil fuels to electricity generates more loss than actual transformation. Most of the time, only 30 percent of actual energy contained in these sources are actually used as electricity. The next problem is the transmission of electricity itself, where distribution to far flung areas generates more losses. The most common household appliances by their actual uses in the house are classified cooking, heating/cooling, refrigeration, light, and computers, most notably in a society like the Philippines. Only light and computers actually need electricity, everything else can be substituted with manipulating temperature differences, or harnessing the sun's heat," he added.

Dr. Federico Macaranas of the Asian Institute of Management was also quick to quip, "Unless we develop the research phase for renewable energy, the country can not establish its promise in harnessing its renewable energy potentials. There must be a strong coordination between the government, private sector and industry leaders, and the academe, researchers and scientists."

Noting Dr. Wimmer and Dr. Macaranas' premise, Sen. Angara and COMSTE are unified in pushing forward the opportunity of following the conference up in the next year with an update of development that the country will have already taken into concrete steps, as well as the challenge of putting the lessons of this conference to practical application.

Aside from interested officials from various embassies, RE industry players mainly on biofuels, carbon financing and energy efficiency, and LGU officials, the conference also received personalities from the financial industry such as the Landbank, Development Bank of the Philippines, PhilExim, and Philippine Veterans Bank.

Also gracing the event were Sec. Arthur Yap (Agriculture) who spoke on the prospects for agriculture in RE; Rafael Coscolluela (DoE) who presented an overview of the Philippine Biofuels Law and the existing programs and projects on biofuels; and parallel sessions with Dr. Alvin Culaba (DLSU), Dr. Jose Cuello (University of Arizona), Mr. Kyungil Choi (Enviroplasma), Danilo Manayaga (Secura Int'l.), Gao Pronove (EcoMarket Farms), Dr. Corazon Claudio (Earth Institute), Dr. Terrence Gosliner (California Academy of Sciences) Joyceline Goco and USec. Demetrio Ignacio (DENR), Lisa Antonio (Phil. Business for the Environment), Dr. Amador Muriel (Phil-American Academy of Science and Engineering), Filemon Berba (Phil. Foundation for Science & Technology), Dr. Mariano Estoque (Manila Observatory), Amb. Cesar Bautista (National Competitive Council) and Fr. Bienvenido Nebres, SJ (AdMU).

The forum has been a brainchild of Sen. Angara and the COMSTE, one of his many initiatives for renewable energy development and pursuit in the country after he authored the Renewable Energy Act of 2008 and the Agricultural and Fisheries Modernization Act.(PNA) LDV/rudyma

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