Geothermal power: RP's answer to global warming
by RG Alama
Davao City (12 September) -- The expansion of geothermal use will be the country's answer to the looming problem of climate change characterized by global warming.
This according to Energy Secretary Angelo Reyes, during a short media interaction with President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo during her visit to Pastor Apollo Quiboloy's prayer mountain in a highland barangay in Davao City last Sept. 10.
President Arroyo fresh from her APEC (Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation) Leader's Summit in Sydney, Australia said that among the issues discussed in the meeting of 21 heads-of-state of APEC member countries was climate change.
Global warming is attributed to the use of fossil fuels like coal and petroleum which contribute to the greenhouse effect that causes climate change.
Geothermal energy uses earth's heat trapped in rock formations deep beneath the earth surface instead of burning fuels which produces polluting by-products, geothermal uses clean steam to power turbines that produce electricity.
According to Sec. Reyes geothermal energy is a clean and a renewable energy source of which the country has an abundance of. "The country is second next to United States in terms of being the largest users of geothermal energy," Reyes said.
The country sources about 27% of its energy requirements from geothermal fields and has more than 30 years experience in harnessing geothermal energy.
According to Reyes, the country's technical experience can be shared to other countries which are thinking of turning to geothermal power. This way, the Secretary said we can help lessen the dependence of fossil fuels to produce power.
Aside from being clean and renewable source of energy, Secretary Reyes said that geothermal plants have lesser power and transmission costs.
Cancelled by bad weather President Arroyo was originally scheduled to fly to the PNOC Geothermal Field in Barangay Ilomavis in Kidapawan City for the groundbreaking of another geothermal well which is part of a 50-megawatt geothermal field and power plant that will add to the present 106 megawatts capacity of the two PNOC power plants.
Later that day, the President signed an Executive order which seeks to develop economic zones in LGUs (Local Government Units) within the vicinity of geothermal plants in order for these investments to benefit from low-power costs of geothermal plants. (PIA XI) [top]