Experts: renewable energy can solve NorthCot’s power woes PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 16 September 2014 13:42

Experts recommended the use of renewable energy as an easy solution to the power shortage in North Cotabato’s 17 towns and provincial capital Kidapawan City.

North Cotabato Gov. Emmylou Taliño-Mendoza on Monday said provincial planners are now studying the viability of harnessing domestic natural and renewable energy sources to address the power woes besetting the entire province.

Mendoza said she and her constituent-local executives discussed the potentials of renewable energy during the September 10 Renewable Energy Summit at the provincial capitol in Kidapawan City.

Dozens of stakeholders, among them renewable energy developers, representatives of power cooperatives, officials of the Department of Energy and the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines participated in the summit, organized by the governor’s office.

Officials of the Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management also joined in the day-long activity.

Engr. Godofredo Homez, manager of the Cotabato Electric Cooperative, reported to summit participants that North Cotabato has a daily 34.59 megawatt power requirement, but only gets more than half of it from big suppliers.

Homez said the province is short by 14.61 MW of electricity every day.

Renewable energy expert Roger Caldwell, consultant of the transnational Amley Energy-Vitagen, had told summit participants that power consumers in the province can turn to renewable energy to address the problem.

One example of a “biomass” power plant operating in Central Mindanao is that of the Lamsan cornstarch factory in Sultan Kudarat town in Maguindanao, which operates its processing facilities with power generated by machinery fueled by combustible rice hulls.

Caldwell said North Cotabato, as an agricultural area, produces organic wastes that can be converted into fuel to run power generating facilities.

Engineers and environmentalists who attended the summit agreed with Caldwell’s idea on the viability of harnessing renewable energy to address North Cotabato’s power problems.

Experts from another renewable energy developer, the TransEnergy, and the Mindanao Business Council recommended the utilization of solar energy to help address the constraint.

Mendoza said the summit provided provincial officials ample insights on the potentials of renewable energy.

North Cotabato towns had more than five hours of daily outage from late 2013 to June this year due to the low level of water in Lake Lanao, whose downstream flow propels hydroelectric plants supplying about three-fourths of Mindanao’s daily power needs.

North Cotabato also has large rivers that can harness hydroelectricity.