Why Solar Energy in the Philippines Makes Sense
The present energy situation of the Philippines is that the country is a net importer of fossil fuels. Simply put, we use more power than we can produce and burn. In numbers (from 2012), the Philippines imported 20 million tons of coal to help augment the eight million tons produced in the country. Statistics from two years prior (2010) showed that the country also had to import 54 million barrels of oil to augment the 33,000 barrels it produced its own.
A dependency on fossil fuels in a country rich in renewable energy sources is not the effect of a single cause. However, it can be the cause of a continued decline in the people’s quality of life. As each of the islands modernise and urbanise, not incorporating renewable energy systems in city and suburban plans simply means contributing to the pollution problem the country already battles, promoting respiratory problems in citizens, and crippling the economy due to a higher cost of living.
This is why solar energy in the Philippines makes sense. Not only is it a renewable energy source, but it is a source to which everyone has access. It is a system very easily incorporated into both existing plans and future development plans, and it’s free. A sailor will tell you they sail because wind is free. We like to say: So is the sun. Once installed, solar energy systems save money, lower pollution, and pay for themselves in the end–free energy!
Not to say that solar energy in the Philippines is the only answer. Other renewable energy sources in the country include hydropower, geothermal power, wind power, and biomass power. Each of these options are much more favourable than coal or oil, but only certain parts of the country will have access to them, and when connected to the power grid, they cannot produce enough to power everyone’s needs. Solar, however, might be able to augment these alternatives enough so that the country can eventually do away with coal.
If every business in the country installed solar panels on their roofs, if every building had solar panels or solar glass, if we installed solar on all our schools, the amount of energy we could produce and feed back into the grid could greatly lower the need to import fossil fuels and lower electricity costs in general. Of course, greater studies need to be done to verify numbers on just how much each person could save, but there is no doubt that solar energy in the Philippines is the biggest energy source companies and individuals should be looking towards.