Press Release
January 8, 2011


Senator Edgardo J. Angara, Chairman of the Senate Committee of Science and Technology highlighted the green initiatives of the Congressional Commission on Science, Technology and Engineering (COMSTE) that will be implemented in 2011.

Angara discussed the Green Transport initiative and Electric Vehicle program, highlighting the cooperation between the DOST, COMSTE and the National Research Council of the Philippines (NRCP) in the development of new technology that can produce more efficient, low cost batteries and new electric vehicle design initiatives.

COMSTE reports also indicate that there is growing interest from countries like Taiwan and Korea in the locally manufactured e- vehicles. Taiwan is also working in close collaboration with COMSTE for the development of batteries for use with e-vehicles.

The electric vehicle initiative is being pushed to address the growing need for more eco-friendly, and sustainable transport. Angara said that innovative Green transport systems such as electric tricycles, hybrid jeepneys, buses and electric bicycles have the potential to lessen pollution caused by conventional transportation and the dependency on fossil fuels.

The COMSTE model for Green Transport includes the use of renewable energy sources such as biofuels, like algae, which will in turn charge the batteries of electric and hybrid vehicles, creating a sustainable green transportation system.

Angara also highlighted the renewable energy initiatives like the establishment of the Renewable Energy Research and Development Institute (RERDI), which will be the medium for new technologies like developing algae for use as a biofuel.

A team composed of members from Ateneo University, Alson Aquacutlure Inc., and two other photo bio-reactor companies aim to study optimal conditions that will promote the growth of algae and the cleaning of coal fired plants by placing nearby aquaculture ponds.

Angara noted that even big oil companies such as Chevron, Royal Dutch Shell, ExxonMobil have started to research the use of algae as fuel. Some airlines have also begun test flights consisting of biofuel blends.

A Bamboo electric bicycle, which was presented recently at the senate, is an innovative green transportation system that can lead the way in promoting Green or eco-tourism, said Angara.

The bike is lightweight, weighing only 18 kilograms a full 3 kilograms lighter than conventional electric bicycles. The electric motor (200W, 36V-10A) and battery of the bicycle has a range of 30 kilometers on a 5 hour charge when used over level ground but since the bamboo electric bicycle is a hybrid, where the electric power is used only for assisting the biker for uphill climbs or to get a boost of speed, the range is multiplied several times over.

Dean Toby Dayrit of the School of Science of Ateneo de Manila University regards this as a great example of industry-academe collaboration leading to new social entrepreneurship options for the Philippines.

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