Harnessing efficient, climate-proof renewable energy for PH

Published March 21, 2019, 11:13 PM

by Ellalyn De Vera & Richa Noriega

By Philippine News Agency

MANILA — Having an ocean renewable energy in the Philippines would not only benefit the country but also its neighbors which could adopt its custom-made marine energy system, an expert said Thursday.

“There are five kinds of ocean renewable energy, but here in the Philippines, the most compatible is the tidal in-stream,” said Dr. Laura David, member of the National Panel of Technical Experts for the Climate Change Commission (CCC), in a forum in Pasig City.

David said relative to most countries surrounded with water, Philippine seas are similarly gentler.

“In this kind of waters alone, you could already harness energy, more so in areas with huge tides. But if you put big turbines in our country like those in Ireland, it won’t budge, so if we are to develop our own, harnessing from a gentle ocean, then we can definitely expand it anywhere,” she told the Philippine News Agency in an interview.

With enough funding, David believes there is big potential for Filipinos in creating such technology that other countries could adapt and use to lessen their high carbon dioxide emissions.

“The potential is huge (for Filipinos). Say the small countries yet are large emitters, if we could lend them the technology then it could have a big impact for them and globally,” she said.

As an archipelago with over 7,000 islands, David underscored that ocean energy is compatible for the country and is more reliable than wind and solar energy given it is climate-proof that could operate in any kind of weather.

“Kung mayroon kang mabilis-bilis na tubig, meaning sa gitna ng dalawang isla yung dumadaaan na tubig doon, pag tama ‘yong bilis kaya ng isang turbina magpa-ilaw at magpagana ng refrigerator at electric fan ng 100 households (If you have faster water, it means to say in the middle of two islands where water runs, if the energy is enough, it can energize refrigerators or electric fans of 100 households),” she said.

“Forty percent would come from the tidal turbines which will be mixed with 60 percent diesel or hydroelectric power,” she added.

According to David, the Philippines cannot simply acquire tidal turbines off-the-shelf as the sea conditions vary from country to country.

“Dahil iba ‘yong dagat natin, hindi puwedeng bilhin mo lang at gamitin dito, kailangan mo siyang i-adapt sa dagat natin (Because our seas are different, you can’t just buy and use them here, you have to adapt them to our seas),” she explained.