The Diocese of Dumaguete in the central Philippines called on the government and on the private sector to support the building of infrastructures that will promote renewable energy.
Bishop Julito Cortes of Dumaguete released a circular on Monday, October 26, detailing the diocese’s “recommendations and outlook on the issue of renewable energy” in response to the call of Pope Francis to care for “our Common Home.”
“It is imperative that residents of planet Earth take ‘swift and unified global action’ in dealing with consumerism, irresponsible development, environmental degradation and global warning,” read the introduction of the document.
“Inspired by the Holy Father’s mandate and care for the environment, we at the local level shall see to it that the utilization of resources be guided by the encyclical,” added the document prepared by Engineer Wilfredo Magallano, the document’s technical adviser.
The island of Negros, where Dumaguete is located, is one of only few provinces in the central Philippines that has a vast “renewable sources of energy” with the 222.6 MW Green Core Geothermal, Inc. in Valencia, Negros Oriental, and several solar power farms.
A “considerable number” of rooftop solar systems are also installed on commercial buildings, institutions, and private homes.
Magallano, hosever, said that despite the “promising development,” there is a need to upgrade the National Grid Corporation’s transmission system facilities to “enable solar power to flow towards the central and southern parts of Negros Island.”
“Negros Island is blessed to have already developed and installed sizable capacity of solar wattage equivalent, yet it is primarily in the transmission, or delivery system, that serious concerns be addressed,” he said.
The Diocese of Dumaguete is banking on the eventual operation of the 69 kV transmission lines between Guihulngan and San Carlos cities that would boost the delivery of solar power throughout the island, even if it “remains to be far from being stable and reliable.”
Magallano is also looking forward to completing the 230 kV Backbone Transmission System between the island of Cebu, Negros, and Panay, which would ease the congestion experienced in northern Negros.
The “backbone system” will enable the large North Negros Solar farms to access the Cebu market, and eventually open it to Leyte, Samar, and Luzon to the north; and Mindanao in the South, he added. “It will allow the bigger rotating plants in Cebu and neighboring islands to react to any unpredictable voltage dip that may occur at solar farms.”