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Germans cite RP’s green energy potential

Posted on: September 24, 2009

Germans cite RP’s green energy potential

Proper policies, education needed
By Anna Valmero
INQUIRER.net
First Posted 10:41:00 09/24/2009

Filed Under: Alternative energy, Environmental Issues, Science & Technology

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippines can be a significant player in the area of “green energy” given its abundant solar, wind and geothermal resources, according to German diplomats.

German-Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industries (GPCCI) president Klaus Schroeder said the Philippines can earn at least $1 billion from the emerging renewable energy market while helping mitigate environmental degredation and climate change caused by the use of fossil fuels.

German Ambassador Christian-Ludwig Weber-Lorstch,meanwhile, cited data pertaining to Germany’s use alternative energy sources.

He said Germany, the world’s first major renewable energy economy, has generated investments of $44 billion (or 30 billion Euros) and 280,000 jobs when it sourced 10 percent of its total energy use from renewables last year.

For 2010, Germany stands to increase power production from renewables to 30 percent.

Weber-Lorstch said Germany will share its business experience on renewable energy to Filipinos during the Mabuhay Germany exhibition on October 8-11, which will showcase German green products and services,
cultural presentations and bazaars.

The Philippines in turn can see “bigger business opportunities” in the renewable energy space with huge investments and proper policies in place, said according to Weber-Lorstch and Schroeder.

Schroeder said Germany poured billions of dollars to shift its energy production to renewable energy sources and over time, country is now reaping the benefits of the investments.

“The Philippines has started with the adoption of renewable energy as we see investments in solar, wind, geothermal and hyropower,” noted Schroeder.

“But it must be realized that there is an immediate need to scale things up if the country wants to remain globally competitive since fossil fuels that power majority of the country’s production units are scarce and will be out in a few years time,” said Weber-Lorstch.

Weber-Lorstch lauded the passage of the Clean Air and Renewable Energy Acts in 2008 in the Philippines, which ranks as the second largest producer of geothermal energy, generating 27 percent of the country’s power requirements.

However, he noted that the relatively high cost of harnessing new renewable resources is largely dependent on the use of fossil fuels like coal, which emits tons of carbon dioxide that destroy the atmosphere and cause drastic climate change.

“The government, private companies and society in the Philippines should work together to realize the potential of renewable energy,” the German envoy said.

Meanwhile, Schroeder stressed that policies must be in place to encourage a healthy investment environment and households should be educated on the importance of efficient energy aside from the use of renewable energy sources.

“When private renewable energy companies see this, foreign investments will come to the country,” he said.

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