Rains may have come but solar plans continue

Published May 30, 2019, 12:52 AM

by Charissa Luci-Atienza & Bernie Cahiles-Magkilat

E CARTOON MAY 30, 2019Now that the rains have begun to fall – a sign that  the  rainy season is about to begin with the “habagat” southwest winds — we may be tempted to forget  what  we should have done during  the months when we had plenty of sun. We were  so  concerned  with  the  fear of water  shortages  that we may have neglected planning and acting to make use of the abundant  sunlight  then falling on our islands.

But  some  officials did  continue  to plan  for  actual projects. Quezon City Mayor Herbert M. Bautista may have only a month left  before  he has to turn over the city  government  to new Mayor Joy Belmonte, but he is proceeding with  a plan to install solar panels in all of the city’s public schools.

The  city has been  constructing  schoolbuildings  and classrooms to accommodate the increasing number of public school students.  But  this  also  means  an increase in the city’s electricity bills, he said, as he disclosed plans to install solar panels in all the city schools.

Meanwhile in the Senate, a bill granting a 25-year franchise  to Leandro Leviste’s Solar para  sa  Bayan was finally approved.  It  will now proceed to construct, install, operate, and maintain  such  systems  to harvest power from the sun and distribute  it to unserved  and underserved areas in the country.

Leviste’s Solar Philippines set up the country’s largest solar facility, the 63-megawatt  Calatagan Solar Farm,  in 2016. At the time the Calatagan  solar farm was established,  Leviste said, “Whereas  others see solar as just a part of their portfolio, we believe it will one day supply the largest share of the energy mix.”

Our country is known for its rich natural resources, especially its copper, gold, and nickel. But we have equally valuable  natural  resources  in  our sunlight, rains, rivers, the geothermal energy  beneath  our  volcanos, and  biomass energy from our farms.

Now that the rains are beginning to fall, it is good to know that we continue to proceed with plans to reap the solar energy we have in great  abundance  during  the  summer season. We thus welcome Mayor Bautista’s solar panel  plans for city  schools and the Senate approval of a franchise for Solar para sa  Bayan.