On the eve of the start of the comprehensive government energy policy review, and proving that the incoming rainy season is not an impediment to fully embrace solar energy, Greenpeace launched the Solar Rooftop Challenge, an aggressive information campaign that highlights the potentials of producing solar energy in the Philippines.
The Solar Rooftop Challenge highlights the benefits of using solar and busts misguided notions that hinder individuals and companies from taking it up by showcasing existing solar rooftop installations of urban middle class households, celebrities, churches, schools, government buildings and private establishments, and through sharing empowering stories of people who have joined the solar rooftop revolution in the country.
“Today, we are launching the Solar Rooftop Challenge to create a platform for the young and urban Filipinos to join the discussion on renewable energy, particularly the use of solar energy. At the same time that the young, hip and trendy Filipinos are ‘arriving’, so is the use of solar energy,” explained Reuben Muni, Climate and Energy Campaigner for Greenpeace Southeast Asia Philippines.
The launch event featured informative lectures and discussions by Obet Verzola, author of the book Crossing Over: the Energy Transition to Renewable Energy and Executive Director of Center for Renewable Electricity Strategies (CREST), and Dann Diez, Executive Director of Sustainable Energy and Enterprise Development for Communities, who presented data and experiences showing that solar energy installation is affordable, accessible and more cost-effective in the long run.
The launch also unveiled the video series Juana Solar Busts a Myth in Minutes, which features celebrity advocates Saab Magalona, Yam Concepcion and Dingdong Dantes busting the myths surrounding the use of solar energy. The videos debunk the myths that solar energy is expensive, unreliable, impractical, uneconomic, and beyond the reach of the average Filipino.
The Solar Rooftop Challenge also happens at the same time that the Philippine government is starting its comprehensive review of the country’s energy policy in order to reduce dependence on coal and come up with a national framework for a just transition to renewable energy and a low-carbon economic pathway.
“By showing that many Filipinos across the country have already made the switch to solar energy, we are sending a message to the incoming Duterte Administration to take to heart this energy policy review and listen to the clamor of many more Filipinos who want clean and renewable sources of electricity for their homes, offices, and businesses,” added Muni.
By telling empowering stories, the Solar Rooftop Challenge showed that the solar revolution is already happening in many parts of the country - from a solar-powered church, to solar-powered schools, malls, and many households. It aims to serve as a platform for the thousands of Filipinos who have already embraced the solar revolution to show and tell their stories as well as exchange and share ideas and information to persuade other people who are keen on taking up the challenge of producing their own clean and renewable electricity from their rooftops.
“The stories will show energy independence through solar energy. We will break the myths surrounding renewable energy and create a powerful testament on its practicality, cost-effectiveness, and reliability to propel the Philippines to a future powered by clean and sustainable energy,” Muni said.