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. Nuclear, solar and geothermal energy pushed at Philippine summit

by Staff Writers
Manila (AFP) Jan 30, 2008
The Philippine government should seriously consider other sources of energy such as nuclear, solar and geothermal rather than rely on oil, an energy summit in Manila was told Wednesday.

"We must have a common and sustainable programme of energy development from a variety of available and indigenous sources... at a cost which will make us more competitive in the world market," congressman Juan Miguel Arroyo, chairman of the congressional committee on energy told the summit.

"We must also do our share in caring for the environment and in reducing our country's reliance on expensive, imported oil," said the congressman, who is the son of President Gloria Arroyo.

Jose Juliano, a physics doctorate with the National Academy of Science and Technology told the conference: "The big power source is nuclear, don't forget nuclear."

He cited the number of nuclear energy projects in Asia, intended to meet the growing energy demands within the region.

The Philippines built a nuclear power plant in the 1970s but it was never put into operation and was mothballed after the government said it was unsafe.

An eight-man team from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) is currently examining whether or not the mothballed nuclear power station can be rehabilitated, Juliano said.

Kelvin Rodolfo, professor at the National Institute of Geological Sciences, said geothermal power was a better choice although he conceded there was also the problem of transmitting electricity from the site of geothermal plants.

"To generate electricity using geothermal (sources), you put in electric lines and ship it long distances, it uses a lot of power," with as much as 17 percent of the electricity lost in transmission.

Catherine Maceda, spokeswoman of the Renewable Energy Coalition of non-government organisations, said the country could add an additional 4,680 megawatts in geothermal, hydroelectric, wind, solar and biomass energy by 2013.

The group called for the passage of a bill that would provide incentives for the development of renewable energy.

strmm/kw/lh

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The first of six properties designed to show case state-of-the-art energy efficient housing will be officially opened on Wednesday January 30 2008 at The University of Nottingham. The house built by BASF, a major supplier of raw materials to the construction industry, is part of the Creative Energy Homes Project on University Park. The project was set up by the School of Built Environment to stimulate sustainable design ideas and promote new ways of providing affordable, environmentally sustainable housing.

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