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Local gov’t units urged to use renewable energy

/ 05:10 AM September 02, 2019

Town and provinces in the Philippines should consider pursuing or promoting renewable energy projects that would address their own supply needs, particularly systems that combine solar photovoltaic, battery storage and water storage, according to an expert at the Asian Development Bank (ADB).

Manuel Omedas Aldanondo, ADB senior technical expert in water and renewable energy, said in a forum recently held in Makati City such a technology was very appropriate in the Philippines, which benefited greatly from sunshine and where there was at the same time ample rainfall.

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“Preliminary studies show how solar energy plus water storage is technically and economically feasible,” Aldanondo said. “It is also a good project for sustainability and modernity for economic development.”

The Spaniard noted that the Philippines was among the countries in the world that had the highest amount of irradiation from the sun such that solar energy could be very competitive due to its modularity, simplicity, production and price.

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“The Philippines also has enormous hydroelectric potential as it is one of the rainiest countries in the (Asia-Pacific) region,” he said. “Therefore, the water-energy (combination) is a great potential to develop.”

Aldanondo said the Philippines could learn much from the experience of El Hierro, which was part of the Canary Islands in the Atlantic Ocean. El Hierro, an autonomous part of Spain, is like Camiguin Island in terms of land area and Marinduque in terms of electricity demand.

He said lessons from the El Hierro model suggested a 20-megawatt solar power component combined with a 20-MW pump storage hydropower component.

He added that this—done through public-private partnership or PPP—would guarantee water quality and quantity as well as sustainable electricity supply 24 hours daily, 365 days a year.

“The Philippines can be a leader on the energy transformation [referring to the shift to renewable energy] by involving the entire society with self-consumption PPP and energy storage PPP,” he said.

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