How we can contribute to a safer Earth thru solar energy

Published October 29, 2021, 12:05 AM

by Anna Mae Lamentillo


Anna Mae Lamentillo

The latest report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) tells us that many of the changes that scientists have observed in the climate are unprecedented and worse, some of these changes, like continued sea level rise, are irreversible over hundreds to thousands of years. We can still limit climate change but our efforts need to be drastic, including strong and sustained reductions in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

The Philippines is highly vulnerable to climate change impacts — intense rainfall, flooding from heavy precipitation events, and sea level rise in coastal cities, to name a few. While we need to strengthen our adaptation efforts, and even as our country’s contribution to GHG emissions is very minimal, we also need to contribute to mitigating climate change impacts.

27kWp GreenDot Solar System in Quezon City

One of the major GHGs is carbon dioxide (CO2), and energy-related CO2 emissions have been the major climate problem. Thus, when countries have pledged to reduce GHG emissions, the main strategy is to reduce fossil fuel consumption and scale up renewable energy investments.

Recently the Department of Energy (DOE) issued its amended Philippine Energy Plan (PEP) 2020-2040. It aims to increase renewable energy mix to 35 percent of the country’s power generation mix by 2030 and 50 percent by 2040.

Based on 2020 data from the DOE, the renewable energy share in the power mix is at 29.1 percent, or 7,563 megawatts out of a total of 26,286 MW installed capacity. But the Philippines has untapped renewables potential of at least 27 gigawatts (GW) from various sources — the sun, wind, geothermal, hydro resources, among others. If we are able to harness these, we will be able to achieve energy security that is clean, reliable, and affordable.

6.5kWp GreenDot Solar System in Antipolo

In fact, end-users can now tap renewable energy to power their establishments or even homes. The cost of solar photovoltaics (PV) has drastically decreased over the years. This has encouraged end-users, particularly industrial and commercial companies, to invest in solar rooftop systems to significantly reduce their energy consumption from the distribution utilities.

For households, while the upfront cost of solar panel installation would seem high, we should see it as a good investment. GreenDot Solar, a pioneer solar service company since 2008, gives an estimate of the savings we can enjoy through solar. For a household with an average monthly electric bill of P5,000, the recommended GreenDot Solar System size is 1.5kWp. The estimated monthly savings for this is P1,600; annually, the household can save about P19,300; and for the 25-year lifespan of the product, savings can reach up to P481,200.

GreenDot Solar Installers Installing in Mandaluyong

GreenDot Solar, which has installed over 30,000 solar systems nationwide including the 1.3-megawatt Grid-tied PV powerplant in SM Bacoor, guarantees at least 25 years efficient solar performance. They ensure quality components of their product and provide 25-year warranty and exceptional after-sales service. Aside from their full grid-tie installation services, they now have the Plug and Save Solar System, which allows a household to go solar in record time by installing the solar panel on the roof and plugging the inverter directly to their socket.

Meanwhile, households can also benefit from the net metering scheme enabled by the Renewable Energy Act. This means that they can sell their excess energy supply to their distribution utility. Meralco has a system for this wherein the value of the excess electricity produced that is exported to them will be given as credits to the customer’s next bill.

10kWp GreenDot Solar System in Pasig City

The use of solar panels allows households to harness energy from the sun. It’s like having a powerplant on your roof and the good thing is, you know that it’s clean energy. It’s a great contribution to reducing greenhouse gas emissions too.

As much as we can, we should shun fossil fuels that have caused great damage to our environment. The threat of climate change is real and it is already haunting us. Investing in renewable energy, such as installing solar panels in our home, is no longer just a personal investment; it is an investment for cleaner, safer, healthier, and more livable future.