The latest report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) tells us that many of the changes scientists have observed in the climate are unprecedented and worse, some of those changes, such as the continued rise in the sea level, are irreversible for hundreds to thousands of years. We can still limit climate change, but our efforts must be drastic, including strong and sustained reductions in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.
The Philippines is highly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change – heavy rains, flooding from heavy rainfall, and sea level rise in coastal cities, to name a few. While we need to step up our adaptation efforts, and even though our country’s contribution to GHG emissions is very minimal, we also need to help mitigate the impacts of climate change.
One of the main GHGs is carbon dioxide (CO2), and energy-related CO2 emissions have been the main climate problem. So when countries have committed to reducing GHG emissions, the main strategy is to reduce fossil fuel consumption and increase investment in renewable energy.
Recently, the Department of Energy (DOE) released its amended 2020-2040 Philippine Energy Plan (PEP). It aims to increase the renewable energy mix to 35% of the country’s electricity production mix by 2030 and to 50% by 2040.
Based on 2020 DOE data, the share of renewable energies in the electricity mix is 29.1%, or 7,563 megawatts out of a total of 26,286 MW of installed capacity. But the Philippines has untapped renewable energy potential of at least 27 gigawatts (GW) from a variety of sources – sun, wind, geothermal energy, water resources, among others. If we can harness them, we will be able to achieve clean, reliable and affordable energy security.
In fact, end users can now use renewable energy to power their establishments or even their homes. The cost of solar photovoltaic (PV) has fallen dramatically over the years. This has encouraged end users, especially industrial and commercial companies, to invest in solar roofing systems to significantly reduce their energy consumption from distribution services.
For households, even though the initial cost of installing solar panels seems high, we should consider it a good investment. GreenDot Solar, a pioneer in solar services since 2008, gives an estimate of the savings we can achieve with solar. For a household with an average monthly electricity bill of 5,000 P, the recommended size of the GreenDot solar system is 1.5 kWp. The estimated monthly savings for this are P1,600; annually, the household can save about P19,300; and over the 25 year life of the product, savings can reach up to P481,200.
GreenDot Solar, which has installed more than 30,000 solar systems nationwide, including the 1.3 megawatt grid-connected photovoltaic plant at SM Bacoor, guarantees at least 25 years of efficient solar performance. They ensure the quality of the components of their product and offer a 25-year warranty and exceptional after-sales service. In addition to their comprehensive grid installation services, they now have the Plug and Save solar system, which allows a household to switch to solar energy in record time by installing the solar panel on the roof and plugging in the solar panel. inverter directly on its socket.
Meanwhile, households can also benefit from the net metering system activated by the Renewable Energy Act. This means that they can sell their excess energy supply to their utility. Meralco has a system for this in which the value of the excess electricity produced that is exported to it will be credited on the customer’s next bill.
The use of solar panels allows households to harness the energy of the sun. It’s like having a power plant on your roof and the good thing is you know it’s clean energy. It is also a great contribution to reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
As much as possible, we should avoid fossil fuels which have caused great damage to our environment. The threat of climate change is real and already haunts us. Investing in renewable energies, like installing solar panels in our home, is no longer just a personal investment; it is an investment in a cleaner, safer, healthier and more liveable future.
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