Friday, December 31, 2010

DOST urged to assess Sorsogon town as potential tidal energy resource

Rep. Deogracias B. Ramos, Jr., (Sorsogon, 2nd District) has asked the Department of Science and Technology to include the town of Matnog as one of the areas to be tested as a potential tidal energy resource.

"There is a need to look at other alternative sources of energy to meet demand. Harnessing the full potential of marine energy will help reduce carbon emissions and our dependence on fossil fuel imports. Matnog shows potential as an excellent energy resource," he remarked.

The DOST believes the topographic conditions of the Philippines with narrow straits between the islands and strategic location between the Pacific Ocean and South China Sea make tidal energy development promising.

Matnog, a fourth-class municipality in Sorsogon, has one of the busiest seaports in the country as it serves as a jump off point to Visayas and Mindanao.

Under the proposed marine current project, the DOST will identify and select 10 areas that would be tested for its energy potential.

The project's objective is to assess marine current resources, develop a geographical information system (GIS) - marine current map of the selected sites and improve local capacity in handling marine current resource assessment and development.

The sites are selected based on several factors such as depth, location, presence of marine traffic and high current velocity. An Acoustic Doppler Current Profiler will be used to determine the current velocity.

Monitoring of the selected area is carried out for a period of two months. The result of the study is then used to produce a GIS map. The findings will also show and quantify the extractable energy potential of the site.

Part of the project involves the development of small-scale marine current energy systems. The agency is expected to make its selection by the first quarter of 2011.

According to the DOST, the country imports over 90 percent of its primary energy consumption, mostly in the form of fossil fuels.

Rep. Ramos said new energy ventures would open opportunities for Sorsogon, potentially attracting new investments and help create jobs.

"Marine current technology has the potential to make a valuable contribution to the country's energy requirements. The results of the assessment will greatly help policy makers and developers to further develop this energy resource," he added.

Potential areas previously identified by the DOST include San Bernandino Strait, Hinatuan Passage, San Juanico Strait, Cebu Harbor, Basilan Strait and Iloilo Strait.


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