FORMER environment secretary and climate change Commissioner Secretary Heherzon Alvarez said the Philippines should tap the “limitless sources of sunlight and wind” to alter the country’s power shortage.

He also said coal-fired power plants are just tentative response to the energy shortage but must use new technology and clean coal power system to benefit the Filipinos more.

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Alvarez was the keynote speaker during the culminating program of the World Water Day and Water Awareness Month celebration on March 23 held at SM City and hosted by the Department of Energy, Department of Environment and Natural Resources, and the Provincial Government of Iloilo.

Alvarez pointed that the Philippines is an archipelagic country enjoying more than 300 days of sunshine and has every reason to use solar energy.

“We are now using only 10 percent of solar energy in the country, especially those in the remote areas. But in four to five years time, the technology will be highly developed and affordable to improve the use of solar energy by 40 percent,” Alvarez said.

The country has also limitless sources of wind energy. It was already established in Ilocos and the people there are enjoying stable and low-cost electric power, the former senator and environment secretary said.

Alvarez said the Department of Energy has estimated about 14,000 megawatts of wind energy produced every year and if properly harnessed, could give us more than enough power supply.

The climate change commissioner, in the issue of coal power plants, said it must follow specific restrictions imposed by the energy department and the international standards to keep its effect in minimal level. (Lydia C. Pendon)