Iloilo City promotes solar energy | SunStar

Iloilo City promotes solar energy

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Iloilo City promotes solar energy

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

THE Iloilo City Environment and Natural Resources Office (Cenro) is promoting solar energy, especially to commercial establishments with big electricity consumption.

Engineer Noel Hechanova, in an interview Tuesday, said they always bring with them representatives from Land Bank of the Philippines (LBP) to talk about loan windows for funding concerns during their information drive.

Also, they are targeting the Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP) if it also has a program for those opting to shift to renewable energy, particularly solar.

“We partner with government financing institutions that promote solar energy,” he stated.

Cenro has developed models in promoting energy efficiency in the context of greenhouse gas reduction emission.

The campaign is being assisted by the United States Agency for International Development (USAid) through its Be Leaders (Building Low Emission Alternatives to Develop Economic Resilience and Sustainability Project) and implemented by the Research Triangle Institute (RTI) based in North Carolina.

In September, during a forum on public-private partnership in Iloilo City, establishments shared their success stories after shifting to solar energy.

Dr. Ronald Raymond Sebastian, chief executive officer of the John B. Lacson Foundation Maritime University (JBLFMU), said that they save around 60 percent of their electricity bill since they shifted to the solar energy. Their solar panels provide around 78 kilowatts for one of their campuses.

“We saw the efficiency of solar panels,” he said, adding that all JBLFMU campuses - Molo, Arevalo and Bacolod - will be adopting solar energy.

On the other hand, Robinsons Malls in Iloilo also saved about 10 percent of what they used to pay.

“Right now, Robinsons Land Corporation is one of the biggest solar producers at the malls level,” said its mall operations manager Kristin Hortelano, adding that they found it easier to return their investment with the solar energy given the high rate of power.

Paul E. Weisenfeld, executive vice president of the International Development of the RTI, described as “phenomenal” and "real recipe of success" the partnerships among Iloilo City, universities and private sectors in “looking for ways to promote energy efficiency that drive economic resilience, that drive economic growth for the people of Iloilo.”

“You don’t have that kind of collaborations all over the world what you have here between the private sector, City Government and the academe. When you bring those partners together, you really can see tremendous thing happen,” he cited.

Currently, all major malls in the city are using solar energy because they see it beneficial in the long run, he said.

Hechanova said that the next target of their advocacy will be the households.

“Eventually, we will draft a program for household,” he said as he cited that there are available loan windows for households that will be used specifically for solar panels.

Hechanova added that they looked forward to start their household level campaign by middle of 2018 as he emphasized that a 20-percent discount on real property is being offered for those who would like to shift to renewable energy. (PNA)

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