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Solar-powered lantern lights up Senate

Posted on: February 25, 2009

By Maila Ager, Anna Valmero
First Posted 15:25:00 12/04/2008

Filed Under: Energy, Lifestyle & Leisure, Alternative energy

MANILA, Philippines — A giant solar- powered traditional lantern was lighted at the Senate on Thursday by an environmental group promoting the use of renewable energy.

Wearing red shirts, Greenpeace volunteers, supporters and other pro-renewable energy groups trooped to the Senate to deliver an eight-foot solar-powered Christmas star. It was received by Senate Majority Floor Leader Juan Miguel Zubiri, principal author of the Renewable Energy bill.

“This is a parol that is totally off-the-grid parol [lantern] as it spearheads the use of renewable energy for it to be lit,” said Zubiri.

Greenpeace Climate and Energy Campaigner Amalie Obusan said the lantern was made of indigenous materials and was lighted up by “light emitting
Diodes [LEDs].”

“It’s very inexpensive. Its main feature is that it’s lighted up by light emitting diodes, which is more energy-efficient lighting. The lantern does not emit any carbon dioxide,” Obusan said over the phone.

The lantern is made of rattan and is decorated with over 60 meters of yellow and green LEDs, whose source of light comes from two solar panels attached to four batteries, which can store up to 100 amperes of electricity, said Obusan in a separate interview.

The batteries are attached to a 1,000-watt inverter which converts the stored energy to output 12 volts that light up the lantern.

“The lantern is a reminder to our senators that renewable energy is the clear answer, the true hope, for a secure future free from severe impacts of climate change,” Obusan said.

She said it would be put up at the chamber’s canopy to remind political leaders that “renewable energy, and not nuclear or fossil fuels, is the clear answer, the true hope, for a secure future free from the severe impacts of catastrophic climate change.”

“While the Renewable Energy Act, expected to be signed into law next week, is a step in the right direction by the Philippine government, we still need to see serious commitment to climate change mitigation efforts,” she said in a statement.

The group further challenged the government to lead the country’s “energy revolution” and steer the country away from the perils of coal and nuclear and toward a bright future, clean, safe sustainable energy.”

Obusan said launching of the solar-powered lantern was part of Greenpeance’s celebration of the official Global Day of Action for the Climate on December 6. This year, the celebration coincides with the United Nations climate meeting in Poland.


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