BATU, Indonesia. Photo by Jes Aznar

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Phl urged to consider use of renewable energy

By Iris C. Gonzales (The Philippine Star) Updated April 25, 2011 12:00 AM Comments (3)

LISBON, Portugal - The Philippines and other developing countries should seriously consider the extensive use of renewable energy as sources of power to help the country adapt to climate change, a spokesperson for the European Commission told The STAR.

In an interview on the sidelines of a reporting trip here on water and climate change organized by the Netherlands-based European Journalism Center, Rui Cavaleiro Azevedo, press officer of the European Commission Representation in Portugal said that there are several ways by which the Philippines can learn from the strategies adopted by European countries such as Portugal.

“The better option for Europe is to go for renewable energy. It’s going to be difficult but it would significantly reduce carbon emissions,” Azevedo said.

He said that among the strategies the Philippines may develop is to fully tap wind, coal and solar energies.

“In the provinces,” the Philippine government can invest in solar energy panels that would help utilize solar energy, save on costs and reduce carbon emissions,” Azevedo said

Azevedo said that while governments would have to invest heavily in solar panels, the investments would impact positively on climate change adaptation and mitigate costs when disasters come.

In the transportation sector, Azevedo said the Philippine government should also encourage the more efficient use of vehicles.

“People can commute more,” he said, adding that the use of mass transport and carpooling can significantly reduce the use of carbon emissions from fuel.

He noted that in Portugal, people have maximized the use of hydropower.

“The large hydro is crucial in the panorama of renewable energies - currently it is the more important origin of renewable electricity. Dam type hydroelectric power plans are also important for controlling floods, moderating peak consumption and stabilizing the grid in general, since their startup time is very short relatively to thermoelectric power plans and plus they do not spend energy while in stand-by. In the future, they will certainly continue to play a major role, possibly even more nowadays, given their additional value for storing large amounts of energy - in fact they are currently the only technically and economically viable solution. In Portugal, it seems that the hydropower potential left to explore would be 40 percent of the total; recently, new dams have been announced,” according to MISP, a document on mitigation strategies in Portugal.