TURNING POINT: Saving the Planet with Clean Energy 

NAAWAN, Misamis Oriental (MindaNews / 19 December) — Given the energy crisis that has adversely impacted on our economy and our way of life, it becomes imperative for the government, if it can’t be helped from going into business, to invest the resources of the nation in the development of sustainable energy.

As an archipelagic country located in the tropic, we are endowed with an abundant supply of sustainable energy, namely, wind and sun.

The country’s total coastline of 36, 289 kilometers guarantee an inexhaustible wind power that needs only to be harnessed to generate an unimaginable megawatts of electricity. The generation, storage and distribution technology for such energy is readily available.

We have also, accordingly, a total of 9.8 million hectares of empty space across the country that resulted from the unconscionable destruction of our forest covers. A portion of that emptiness where strategically located could be converted into solar energy farms. Likewise, the technology for the generation, storage and distribution of such energy is available.

On the other hand, our lakes like Laguna de Bay and such wetlands as Liguasan marsh in Cotabato and Agusan marsh in Agusan del Sur have abundant supply of water hyacinths that can be harvested year round for methane gas production, instead of just allowing them to rot everywhere and pollute (and obstruct) waterways.

The domestic and industrial wastes in urban dumpsites, like plastics and tires, are also a great source of sustainable energy in methane gas production and in other forms.

Methane gas production may be carried out by private entrepreneurs and cooperatives with the initial support of the government.

Energy is proven to be a profitable business. The government may not experience difficulty in accessing loans from international financial institutions for that reason.

But it’s high time that the national budget shall include regular appropriation for the development of sustainable energy. This could include an investment, too, in research in tapping the oceans surrounding us as a source of clean energy.

It feels good to imagine for our country to be gradually weaned from fossil energy and do our part in saving the planet by combating global warming and climate change.

(MindaViews is the opinion section of MindaNews. William R. Adan, Ph.D., is retired professor and former chancellor of Mindanao State University at Naawan, Misamis Oriental, Philippines.)