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Washington Post extols RP's unwavering focus in dev't of geothermal energy

Manila (12 October) -- The Philippines may not be a super country but it is not wanting in best practices which even big world countries are wont to replicate. This should make us proud of our country, proud of our leaders and proud to be called Filipinos.

A Washington Post October 4 issue, article entitled "Filipinos Draw Power From Buried Heat," cited the Philippines for its unwavering focus on the exploration and development of geothermal energy, making it the world's largest consumer of electricity from geothermal sources.

Once the Philippines government gave its edict to develop geothermal, it was implemented with good management and intelligent engineering, said Horne, the Stanford professor who has traveled often to the Philippines.

The Washington Post article lamented that the United States government was not as consistent in its own geothermal power policies.

"But unlike in the Philippines, the government policy in the United States has been inconsistent," the article pointed out, comparing the United States government's "short-term" geothermal energy policies with that of the Philippines' "champion(ing) of this form of energy" since the early 70s.

In terms of installed geothermal power capacity, the Philippines ranks No. 2 in the world, narrowly tailing the United States which has far more geothermal potential, far more engineering talent and far greater demand for clean sustainable power.

The article revealed that "geothermal power now accounts for about 28 percent of the electricity generated in the Philippines."

"With 90 million people, about 40 percent of whom live on less than $2 a day, this country has become the world's largest consumer of electricity from geothermal sources.

"Billions of dollars have been saved here because of reduced need for imported oil and coal," continued the article which quoted Stanford University geothermal power expert Roland Horne, who had been to the Philippines more than 20 times, as stressing, thus:

"The Philippines would be in hugely worse shape without geothermal as an indigenous energy source."

If this writer may add, the Philippines did not stop its sight on the geothermal power source. It is continuously on the look out for alternative sources of energy. And just last week, President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo happily announced to the business leaders of the world that oil had started to be extracted at the Galoc Oil Fields off the Northwest tip of Palawan Island.

This is another victory towards the Administration's quest to increase energy independence. (PIA 8) [top]

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