MANILA, Philippines – More lawmakers want the government to invest in solar power to promote energy stability, attain energy independence from oil-dependent energy sources and address the power crisis in the country.
Rep. Teddy Casiño (Party-list, Bayan Muna) said House Bill 5405 or the proposed One Million Solar Roofs Act of 2011 would help mitigate global warming and air pollution and encourage industry growth that would lead to more jobs and lower electricity bills.
“In an era of increasingly high prices and foreseeable decline of the global oil supply, government should at the soonest develop fuel alternatives and accelerate the exploration and utilization of renewable sources of energy,” Casiño said.
Casiño said Congress enacted Republic Act 9513 or the Renewable Energy Act in 2008 to encourage investments in renewable energy. “To complement this measure, it is also necessary to encourage demand and provide incentives especially to purchasers of small renewable energy systems,” Casiño added.
Rep. Luzviminda Ilagan (Party-list, Gabriela), another author of the measure, said the Philippines would greatly benefit from using renewable sources of energy because of its clean and sustainable character.
Ilagan said solar technology could be an immediate and sustainable way to deal with the country’s energy problems, especially with the abundance of solar energy throughout the country and the modular nature of solar energy systems.
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“Besides the country being the second in Southeast Asia in terms of irradiation and insolation, we already have the foundation to become a renewable energy leader in the region owing to the strong semi-conductor industry and the manpower base serving in the manufacturing and service sectors, especially the installers’ sub-sector,” Ilagan said.
Rep. Raymond Palatino (Party-list, Kabataan), one of the authors of the bill, said the measure provides for incentives and financing facilities to encourage the use of solar energy by ordinary electricity consumers like residences, offices as well as small and medium business establishments.
“It is hoped that through this, the demand for clean solar energy, as well as the opportunities for local manufacturing and related solar energy products and services will increase,” Palatino said.
Under the measure, the government, through the Department of Energy (DOE), the National Renewable Energy Board (NREB) and the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC) shall encourage the installation of small solar energy systems in homes and business establishments all over the country, targeting a million rooftops in the next 10 years.