Press Release
January 14, 2011


The Congressional Commission on Science Technology and Engineering (COMSTE), a non-voting member of the Board of NREB, presented its flagship programs in renewable energy (RE) to the National Renewable Energy Board (NREB) earlier today.

Senator Edgardo J. Angara, Chair of COMSTE highlighted two projects that have been prioritized for 2011 which would impact the RE initiatives of the country, namely the Industrial Research and Development Institute (IRDI) and the Renewable Energy Research and Development Institute (RERDI) that have been initiated by COMSTE.

COMSTE reports that the creation of these institutes would need government funding, which would go to applied research in key areas, in turn enabling innovation and creating new companies and new jobs. COMSTE said that funding for these projects can potentially come from the Department of Agriculture (DA), the Department of Science and technology (DOST), and the Department of Energy (DOE) or other government entities.

COMSTE Executive Director Dr. Gregory Tangonan presented the major thrusts of the commission related to energy, namely:

1.) Funding Research & Development in the Philippine Solar Testing Facility which was recently launched as a partnership with COMSTE and First Philec. The Facility would determine the best engineering options for solar Photovoltaic (PV) deployment in the Philippines. The facility will be testing state of the art arrays and electronics parts (inverters, battery systems, fuel cells, etc) under this Public-Private partnership in S&T. Solar research would also involve collaboration with the Semiconductor and Electronics Industries in the Philippines, Inc. (SEIPI).

2.) Fund the Philippine Algae Research Center as a Consortium of Universities (Ateneo, UPLB, DLSU, USC, and UP) and Industry (Alsons Aquaculture, Tao Corporation) to develop fast growth of algae and novel oil extraction techniques for local species for energy, pharmaceuticals and aquaculture.

3.) Fund the Philippines Biofuels Consortium Program, which would develop new approaches to biofuels in the country. Industry is being eyed to lead the Consortium, specifically in S&T development. The industry partner would participate by making facilities available to researchers of the Engineering Research and Development for Technology (ERDT) and other programs.

4.) Fund the electric vehicle design, development and testing laboratory, with the Don Bosco Technology College as lead organization. With Industry/Academe participation in new vehicle design, battery optimization, electronics for power management, hybrid vehicles, and green transport systems deployment can be interfaced to Renewable energy.

5.) Fund an energy efficiency laboratory and training laboratory with the DOE / DOST/ Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) as co-leaders with the academe (notably ERDT) as research partner. Training and certification of energy efficiency specialists will be done under this program. These new capabilities are needed to carry out the mission of the new Energy Efficiency Bill, which was recently submitted by Angara.

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