Manila Solar Energy

Imagine Metro Manila filled with solar systems, every rooftop fitted with solar panels, what if the megacity would be able to generate the same amount of energy a power plant that runs on “dirty” energy such as coal and natural gas produces.

According to a climate policy group, Metro Manila’s rooftop area can harvest up to 2.5 gigawatt peak (GWp) of solar power. This is the equivalent amount of electricity a 500 megawatt coal-fired plant produces.

‘Climate finance is key’

In an email interview, Antonio Gabriel La Viña, says climate finance is key to the transition to renewable energy.

Climate finance refers to funds from public and private sources geared toward program investments committed in reducing carbon emissions.

Under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC), developed countries will provide financial assistance to developing countries, which bear the harshest impacts of climate change.

Transforming the energy system

Senator Loren Legarda, announced in May this year that the country would be tapping the Green Climate Fund. Former environment chief Gina Lopez said last year that the country may fund government-accredited climate adaptation projects.

“If we are serious in transforming our energy system, there are many sources that we can tap to help us finance the transition,” La Viña says.

Shifting to renewable energy will not only help in mitigating the country’s carbon emissions. It will also have better health impacts for our people than our current dependence on fossil fuels, he adds.

More jobs in solar energy

New investment opportunities in renewable energy benefit not just the environment but also the economy.

Investing in renewable energy has created more jobs. In 2015, employment in the renewable energy sector reached 8.1 million, the International Renewable Energy Agency says. Jobs in the solar sector now outnumber jobs in coal mining, oil and gas industries put together, the agency adds.