Forum boosts renewable energy potential in Negros Island, Philippines

Negros Island, already considered the Philippines’ renewable energy capital, is again leading the charge to further mainstream the use of clean, renewable sources by empowering individuals and families with information and opportunities to solarize their homes and offices. To encourage uptake and boost the interest of urban dwellers in utilizing renewable energy, the Negros Clean Energy Forum was held today with the theme and aim of “Maximizing the Solar Energy Potential of Negros Island.”

The forum, which was hosted by Greenpeace Philippines, together with Climate Reality Project Philippines, underlined the benefits of solar energy through knowledge sharing by individuals and organisations who have had experience in using renewable energy in their homes and businesses. Solar rooftops, in particular, can create huge impacts in lowering monthly electricity bills, and the growing availability of financial assistance for those who want to avail of solar installations is a great opportunity to harness the power of the sun and break away from our dependence on fossil fuels, such as coal.

“While Negros Island is already recognized as the country’s renewable energy capital, the region can still maximize its solar energy potential thru solar rooftop installations on homes and buildings. This will accelerate the country’s solar revolution, as more and more Negrenses will be able to enjoy the benefits of clean and renewable energy, in addition to the large solar power plants in the region,” said Reuben Muni, Climate and Energy Campaigner for Greenpeace Philippines.

Negros Occidental and Negros Oriental, comprising what is now known as the Negros Island Region, became the leader in the development and installation of renewable energy in the country, particularly solar energy. Negros Island is host to several large-scale solar power plants, including the 132-MW plant in Cadiz City, Negros Occidental, considered as the biggest in Southeast Asia.

Negros Occidental was the first province in the country to reject the proposed coal-fired power plant in Pulupandan led by the People of Pulupundan Against Coal-Fired Power Plant (PPAC), Negrosanons Against Coal-Fired Powerplant (NACP), and supported by both local and international organisations. It is also among the first to propose renewable energy as a solution to the province’s power needs.

“Ordinary Filipinos should be able to have access to clean and environment-friendly electricity. Solar rooftop installations provide this opportunity to Filipinos, as investments in both climate and the economy, since these address the need for a clean source of energy and long-term investment in infrastructure and commerce,” said Rodne Galicha, Philippine Branch Manager for the Climate Reality Project.

Actor and social media influencer Jun Sabayton also graced the event and shared his experience in advocating for climate solutions. Greenpeace Philippines and the Climate Reality Project are joined by Bacolod City Local Government in cooperation with KOLEKTIB, Youth Empowering Youth, Philippine Rural Reconstruction Youth Association, and Solar Generation Pilipinas

The media forum is part of the Solar Rooftop Challenge, which highlights the benefits of using solar energy while busting misconceptions that hinder individuals and companies from taking it up. It showcases existing solar rooftop installations of urban middle class households, celebrities, churches, schools, government buildings and private establishments, as well as empowering stories of people who have joined the solar rooftop revolution in the country.

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