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Dec 08th
Home Sections Ecology and the Environment How OFWs Can "Reinvent" Power Generation in RP and Simultaneously Fight Global Warming (Part 14)
How OFWs Can "Reinvent" Power Generation in RP and Simultaneously Fight Global Warming (Part 14) PDF Print E-mail
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Sections - Ecology and the Environment
Monday, 30 July 2007 02:52

 

Part 14 of the "Filipino Version of 'The Manhattan Project'" Series)

Y es, blackouts are again wrecking lives, trade, commerce and the manufacturing industries in the Philippine cities and towns. The shortage of electricity once more has resulted into black eyes for the national and local leaders in the homeland.

Filipino journalists like Donnabelle Gatdula and Paolo Romero of The Philippine Star are having a field day in reporting the "more-rotating blackouts lasting for two hours or more loom as soaring temperatures continue to push power demand and gnaw on the limited supply of water, coal and other fuels for power plants." To read more of the Gatdula-Romero report, please read excerpts of it at the end of this article.

The Filipino leaders never really learn from the lessons of the past. They never bother to listen to their constituents, especially the Overseas Filipinos. As early as 2003, I sent a position paper to President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo about a crash program that I dubbed the "Emergency-Employment and Ecological-Evolution (E4)" Program. The Office of the President never even acknowledged receipt of my proposal that was sent through channel via the Philippine Embassy in Washington, DC.

I recently included the proposal in my series of doing a Filipino version of "The Manhattan Project." It became part six of the series and it was entitled, "Funding Reforestation as a Solution to Global Warming." To read the article in its entirety, please go to http://www.mabuhayradio.com/content/view/134/90/

I said in it: "There are other social benefits that shall accrue by doing the proposed E4 Program. There will be downstream projects, aside from the cottage-industry production resulting from the harvests of fruits, the sale of lumber and timber, the dairy, tannery and leather craft industries from the raising of goats. When watersheds teem with vegetation and even wildlife, the tree-farming co-ops (TFCs) may be able to generate their own power by operating their mini-hydro power dams. The TFCs may be able to provide cheap electricity to their villages or towns and sell the excess power generated to the district electric cooperatives or even to the National Power Corporation (NPC)."

The solution for the perennial power crisis in the Philippines is not to build 600-megawatt to 1,200-megawatt generating coal-fired plants. The answer is to build mini-hydro power-generating facilities and backed up by windmill farms. For example, my home province of Sorsogon needs only seven to eight mini-hydro power plants to declare itself energy independent from the NPC. And to make viable a mini-hydro plant, people (read, members of the electric cooperative) must undertake reforestation to make sure that the watershed areas can support during the summer months the river where the mini-hydro dam is located.

The national government and its agencies do not like to build mini-hydro plants because each of them cost only between $1.0-million to $2.0-million. Building of course mega power plants means more opportunities for earning commissions and kickbacks. Coal-fired power plants not only pollute further the environment but the importation of coal drains the national treasury of dollar reserves.

Perhaps the OFW communities, especially Filipino Americans, can look into this area and team up with the provincial electric co-ops. Investing in mini-hydro dams is a Win-Win situation for the Overseas Filipinos. There is money to be made, they can help generate jobs for their kin and friends and fight global warming at the same time.

* * *

Donnabelle Gatdula and Paolo Romero of The Philippine Star wrote:

QUOTE. More rotating blackouts lasting for two hours or more loom as soaring temperatures continue to push power demand and gnaw on the limited supply of water, coal and other fuels for power plants.

On Wednesday (
July 25, 2007), four- to five-hour blackouts hit Metro Manila and nearby provinces as major power stations failed to cope with a sudden surge in demand.

The blackout Wednesday came three months after a similar unexpected spike in demand triggered a massive power outage in Metro Manila and a large portion of
Northern Luzon.

The situation may worsen as early as next week if the delivery of coal from
China fails to arrive as scheduled or if the water level at dams that feed hydropower plants remains at critically low level.

As of
1 p.m. Wednesday, blackouts covered large areas of Pasig, Mandaluyong, Quezon City and Makati in Metro Manila, as well as large areas in Cavite, Bulacan and Laguna.

The power supply cutback from the National Power Corp. prompted the selective power rationing by the Manila Electric Co. Wednesday.

The power shortfall was estimated at 466 megawatts and that rotating blackouts were implemented as early as
8:45 a.m. "to address this deficit and to maintain system balance," a statement from the Wholesale Electricity Spot Market read.

It was learned that National Power Corp. had to divert one panamax shipment of Newlands Australian coal to the 1,200-megawatt Sual plant in Pangasinan from the 600-megawatt Masinloc coal-fired power facility last July 23 to avert a two-day blackout that could have started an hour before President Arroyo's State of the Nation Address. UNQUOTE. # # #

 



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Last Updated on Sunday, 07 March 2010 20:44
 

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