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Six Sources of Renewable Energy in the Philippines

Essay by   •  March 2, 2011  •  Essay  •  929 Words (4 Pages)  •  2,017 Views

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Biomass

Philippine is known to have an abundance of bio-energy fuel sources at its disposal because of its extensive agricultural, forestry, and livestock industries. Potential fuel sources include bagasse (60-70% utilization), coconut residues (40-50% utilization), wood, rice hulks (10-20% utilization) and municipal solid waste. The DOE has identified a biomass (bagasse) potential of 250 million barrels of fuel oil equivalent in the country. In terms of capacity, the country has a total installed capacity of 235.7MW from the different regions, with Western Visayas having the biggest potential of 127.8 MW.

In 1996 bagasse contributed 3.6% to the energy mix, with 39 operating sugar mills producing an estimated 4600 tons of cane daily. More than 653 biogas systems for generation from animal wastes are installed in the Philippines, with the technology having been used since 1970s.

Solar Power

Solar energy refers to energy derived from solar radiation which can be converted into useful thermal or electrical energy.

Considering that the country is situated near the equator, there is a nationwide potential for harnessing solar energy. In 2000, the Philippines installed a PV (photovoltaic) capacity of about 567KW. And presently, there is a 960KW CEPALCO solar power plant which is located in Cagayan de Oro in Mindanao.

There are eight solar energy programs, seven of which are funded by foreign donors. The Solar Power Technology Support (SPOTS) Project was designed to install solar energy systems in about 80 Agrarian Reform Communities (ARCs). There are also 5,600 solar energy systems completed in 154 barangays under this program.

The Environmental Improvement for Economic Sustainability (EIES) Project also promotes the use of photovoltaic system for rural-based electrification through the installation of 15,000 Solar Hybrid Systems (SHS) in the target regions. The said regions include Region I to VII, the Mindanao area and the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR). As of the first quarter of 2006, 9,191SHS have already been installed in the country.

Optimizing the use of alternative energy had never been so timely for the Philippines, however. For one, the country has to minimize pollution in the face of global warming, Environment Under-secretary Demetrio Ignacio said.

Second, the quest for renewable energy is synonymous to having a sustainable source of energy. The country has been highly dependent on oil, whose supply could further shrink in the coming years because of geopolitics and a volatile global economy.

Geothermal

The natural heat within the earth is the motor of the 'geothermal energy'. In fact, the earth serves as a hot water-boiler.

The heat of the earth warms up water (fluids) which is trapped in rock formations thousands of feet (3000 meter) beneath the earth's surface.

In the Philippines geothermal energy already provides 27% of the country's total electricity production generated in power plants. Geothermal power plants are on the islands Luzon, Negros, Mindanao and Leyte.

The possibility of getting the hot steam is only

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