A NEW method designed to promote renewable energy (RE) projects to six Southeast Asian countries, including Philippines, has been introduced in a bid to provide datesets and funding for RE projects.
The new tool is developed by Asian and Pacific Center for Transfer of Technology (APCTT) of the United Nations' Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (Escap) and International Renewable Energy Agency (Irena), with Department of Science and Technology (Dost).
The tool is dubbed as Global Atlas for Renewable Energy, an initiative of Irena, aimed at providing countries access to the necessary datasets, expertise and financial support to evaluate their national renewable energy potentials.
Krishnan Srinivasaraghavan, coordinator for technology transfer of APCTT-Escap, said in yesterday's Club 888 media forum at the Marco Polo Hotel-Davao that the tool has been introduced through the Southeast Asia Regional Training Programme on Renewable Energy Resource Assessment and Mapping which was participated by six countries namely: Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, Brunei, Indonesia, and the Philippines. It was held last September 28 to 30 at Marco Polo Hotel-Davao.
"We are promoting technologies to bring sustainability, we focus on technology transfer and facilitating new emerging technology access to countries, so in that context we promote RE to meet sustainability goals. The training program will enable the participants on how to measure the potential of renewable energy in Asean countries, and we are mainly focusing on wind and solar energy," Srinivasaraghavan said.
The training was participated by some 20 trainees and speakers. The three-day training focused on technology transfer aspect and policy trainings and mechanisms.
Abdulmalik Oricha Ali of Irena emphasized that the Global Atlas for Renewable Energy can be accessed through the internet for free and could help countries to evaluate and locate where is the most viable location where the RE projects can be strategically constructed.
"It (Global Atlas for Renewable Energy)is a geographic information system that provides with all the relevant maps of resource wherever it exist. This tool you would be able to see where parts of the country has the best solar radiation and/or wind speed," Ali said.
Fortunato Sibayan, division chief for Solar and Wind Energy Management Division, Renewable Energy Bureau of the Department of Energy (DOE,) said that Mindanao is most viable for the solar energy projects.
"The Northern part of the Philippines could be tapped for wind energy but for solar, Mindanao could be best because it is nearer to the equator," Sibayan said.
However, DOST regional director Anthony C. Sales said that the contributing factors challenging the deployment and installment of RE projects are the issues on ancestral domains where some areas, which is potential for RE projects are govern by indigenous and ancestral domain sustainable development plans. Also environmentally critical areas mapped out by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) shall also be considered.
“We need to make a study called environment impact assessment, based on this study we can make recommendations on how to established the projects,” Sales said.
Based on the DOE’s Renewable Energy Bureau data, as of August 31, 2015, a total of 23 awarded projects for solar power with a combined capacity of 363.32 megawatts (MW).
At present, the Global Atlas for RE has maps on solar, wind, geothermal and bioenergy resources along with one marine energy map. The tool is set to eventually encompass all renewable energy resources, providing global coverage. The tool has a GIS interface which features information on renewable energy resources including population density, topography, local infrastructure, land use and protected areas.