Palawan is one of the Philippines natural wonders, with many tourists visiting every year. The island province is not connected to the national grid and depends upon imported diesel and bunker fuel to generate electricity.
These fuels are known to have significant emissions and can contribute to noxious air pollution. Additionally, blackouts and brownouts have been too common, and some residents don’t have access to reliable electricity sources. Power also costs about twice much in Palawan as it does in Manila.
So, moving towards being energy independent by using renewable sources is a great new direction. “Palawan is so much better off than the rest of the Philippines. Palawan is the last ecological frontier. It can prove if we can live sustainably. It can be a model to follow,”
explained World Wide Fund for Nature Philippines leader Lory Tan. (Source: Rappler)
Currently, a proposed hydropower plant would partially help them reach their renewable energy goals, and create jobs. It would save money by generating power that would not need to be produced by burning imported fossil fuels and it would reduce CO2 emissions.
Palawan is a long, thin island province measuring about 280 miles long and 31 miles wide, with a human population of 771,000. There are well over 1,000 miles of coastline, mountainous areas, virgin forests, and clear waters for diving and snorkeling. There are also about 11,000 square kilometers of coral reefs. Over two hundred endemic species live there as well.
Agriculture and fishing are two of the economic staples, with a growing tourism industry due to the idyllic natural resources. So, switching to renewable energy sources makes good sense both for public health and ecological reasons. When Palawan becomes a green province, it will probably become an effective selling point for tourism. Currently, the Philippines employs geothermal and biomass as their top renewables.
Image Credit: Andrew Lillis
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