Press Release
November 6, 2012


Senator Edgardo J . Angara lauded the Department of Energy (DOE) for tying up with academic institutions for renewable energy (RE) projects but urged that industry stakeholders should also be involved.

DOE Undersecretarty Jose Layug Jr. recently told the press that the department will partner with select universities across the country to form affiliated renewable-energy centers (ARECs) that will monitor RE projects for research and development (R&D) purposes.

"Ramping up efforts in this manner will ensure the long-term viability of RE and get our universities more into conducting relevant R&D," said Angara, Chair of the Senate Committee on Education, Arts and Culture.

"But these partnerships become more effective, if industry was also involved to make sure that the R&D being conducted is relevant and can even result in something that can be commercialized."

Angara, who is also Chair of the Senate Committee on Science and Technology, noted that the DOE recently underscored how farmers can benefit from renewable energy particularly from big volumes of agricultural waste such as bagasse (sugarcane waste), coconut husks and rice hulls, which can be used to supply biomass power plants.

"Combining the on-the-ground expertise of farmers and the technical knowledge of the academe, the DOE can better identify sustainable sources of biomass energy," the veteran lawmaker added, noting that the energy department is already looking into feedstocks like sweet sorghum and cassava.

He explained that this approach to research can be applied to efforts in ramping up other RE technologies in the country like wind, solar, run-of-river and even ocean energy.

Angara, author of the Renewable Energy Act (RA 9513) concluded, "The Philippines is a prime model in renewable energy generation, given we're already a top producer of geothermal energy in the world, next only to the United States. But we can definitely do more to capitalize on the vast RE resources available to us."

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