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‘Windmills and wave energy for Cebu’

First Posted 08:42:00 10/09/2010

IN the wake of a power crisis, Sen. Juan Miguel Zubiri challenged private companies to develop sources of renewabel energy.

He said the Philippines had many options? geothermal power, solar power , biomass, small scale hydropower, wind and tidal ocean wave energy.

Zubiri spoke at the opening of the two-day Go Green Fair at Shangri-La's Mactan Resort and Spa in Lapu-Lapu City.

Cebu has two potential sources, he said, ocean waves and the wind.

?Believe it or not here in southern Cebu and Negros are one of the best wind gradients in the country. It produces a lot of wind. And how nice would it be to actually see windmills of the southern portion of Cebu and the southern portion of Negros. It would be a new tourism site, I promise you that,? Zubiri said.

He said Cebu, surrounded by the sea, could also tap tidal wave energy.

?This is good for Cebu even in the Mactan channel. In Europe ganito na po ang kanilang energy provider. This is the new wave of technology,? Zubiri said.

Zubiri said local governments should consider investing in these projects.

While these are thrice more expensive than coal-fired power plants Zubiri said it can be argued that they make sense in the long run and saves the environment.

?It is very expensive to put up a renewable energy project but if you give the people the companies the right incentives they will build,? Zubiri said.

Republic Act 9513 also known as Renewable Energy Act of 2008, provides fiscal incentives to companies that invest in renewable energy like tax exemptions and tax holidays.

?The Cebuanos are the cutting edge of technology in the Visayas and Mindanao even in the Philippines. Your Mactan plants and the eco-zones, you can build the windmills. Why do you have to buy solar panels in India or China when we can build it right here in Cebu? ?

He said under the new law, imported materials can be brought in tax free.

Zubiri cited the ill effects of climate change, including coal-fired power plants, which he said cause respiratory diseases.

He said the national government has 50 pending project proposal sfrom all over the country to develop renewable energy.

Jose Ma. Lorenzo Tan of the World Wildlife Foundation ? Philippines said planning to mitigate climate change should start at the local level.

?We are caught in a climate sandwich and we can start here in Cebu and we can stop this. We are not helpless if we choose to be indecisive and we are helpless if we just talk and talk,? Tan said.

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