Electrifying and powerful discussions summed up the continuing pursuit of the Technology Application and Promotion Institute of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST-TAPI) through its Technology Innovation for Commercialization (TECHNICOM) in increasing public awareness of locally-funded technologies.
In its 4th episode, innovative and renewable energy technologies in the Philippines hit the spotlight of TieUps, a webinar series on TeKnowLohiya—the Program’s Facebook page— aired on August 26, 2020.
“Energy is central to growth and prosperity, hence, our future depends on how we revolutionize our country’s energy industry” said DOST Undersecretary for Research and Development, Dr. Rowena Cristina L. Guevara and co-chair of the Program Advisory Committee for the TECHNICOM Program.
She also emphasized the commitment of DOST and DOST-TAPI in to supporting the development of local renewable technologies by providing assistance to Filipino inventors and enterprises who focus on discovering modern but sustainable ways of providing power to different industries.
Likewise, USec. Guevara added that the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic has opened an opportunity for the government to improve its energy infrastructure by recalibrating the energy sources that are commonly being used and by creating policies that are geared towards the global goal of saving our planet from climate change.
Landscape of Innovations in Efficient Energy Use and Sustainable Energy
Director Patrick T. Aquino of the Energy Utilization Management Bureau of the Department of Energy (DOE) discussed the overview of new energy technologies in the Philippines as well as the policy measures which promote efficient energy use and sustainable energy production.
He coursed through the existing energy policies in the country and how these regulate and promote novel technologies that can potentially solve the country’s energy problems particularly the heavy dependence on fossil fuels.
Existing partnerships of the government with the academe and industry were also mentioned by Director Aquino specifically the research on energy efficiency.
Likewise, during the Talakayan Segment of the TieUps episode, Dir. Aquino assured the public that the energy department is conducting extensive research and consultations with regard to the recent calls to start the use of nuclear energy in the country. He added that DOE makes sure safety remains a top priority.
Curbing Pollution and Promoting Renewable Energy in Transportation
A TECHNICOM-funded technology called CharM or Charging in Minutes, developed by the University of the Philippines Diliman and currently marketed by the company CHRG Electric Vehicle Technologies Inc, was featured in the second part of the webinar.
Chief Operating Officer of CHRG Electric Vehicle Technologies Inc, Engr. Rovinna Janel F. Cruzate, shared the key features of their technology. CharM is a locally-developed e-trike and e-jeep fast charger that has a charging rate of just 30 minutes.
She emphasized that there is an existing widespread range of anxiety or the apprehension of the lack of charging stations in most areas of the country as manifested by most vehicle users. This is the primary reason why electric vehicles are not yet adopted on a greater scale in the country.
Currently, the country’s transportation sector remains to be the largest contributor to the Philippines’ greenhouse gas emissions, which causes harm to the natural environment, including living spaces most especially in urban areas.
With technologies like CharM, the country can gradually move away from heavy dependence on fossil fuels and progressively adopt eco-friendly practices and technologies that would contribute greatly to the nation’s efforts in reducing carbon dioxide.
Innovation in Unchartered Territory
Meanwhile, the Philippines is slowly venturing into integrating a cashless and paperless transaction system for some of its industries. One example is Intellex - a TECHNICOM-funded technology employing a cloud-based power meter system that offers real-time energy monitoring and generates data and analytics on energy consumption.
Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder of Exora Technologies Inc., Mr. Sergius Angelo U. Santos, shared that their technology can be a potential game changer for electricity distribution and retailing in the country.
“This might not be applicable yet on a household level but our main vision as a company is to help the government improve the existing regulations so that our technology could trickle all the way to the household. Hopefully, everyone gets to choose their energy source,” shared Mr. Santos
At present, Intellex can assist in making cost-effective decisions for the industrial sector, which comprises around 26% of power consumption in the electricity market. This technology provides a system for retail electricity suppliers and contestable customers in the industrial sector to efficiently transact energy procurement.
Likewise, Mr. Santos campaigned for consolidated efforts among government and private institutions to achieve the goal of providing more affordable and accessible electricity. He added that the future of electricity is really about decentralization and that consumers play an important role in this sector.
Providing Grass Energy Solutions at the Grassroot Level
Municipal fishers that regularly experience unstable access to electricity and often experience lengthy power outages is the target beneficiary of the fourth energy technology that was featured in the episode.
Dubbed as iLawa, this TECHNICOM-funded technology is an alternative energy source that helps light up small fishing vessels using waste materials in lakes or seawaters.
Dr. Drandreb Earl O. Juanico, Director of Research and Development at the Technological Institute of the Philippines, who led a group of researchers to develop iLawa, shared a comprehensive video presentation of the technology’s journey.
“In 2017 the researchers first embarked on their project by joining the Sikat Solar Challenge Foundation Inc. Backed by the Lopez Foundation and the Energy Development Corporation, the Sikat Foundation supports initiatives that offer renewable and sustainable energy solutions to communities experiencing inaccessibility to energy,” as narrated in the audiovisual presentation. iLawa developers are currently consulting with a renewable energy commercialization expert from Sikat Foundation, Inc. to better market the technology.
At present, the four technologies are open to investors and collaborators. By funding locally-developed innovations and ensuring that technologies reach their intended users, the TECHNICOM Program advocates for an empowered industry that could push our country’s competitiveness.
For more information on the Program and/or its supported technologies, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Director Aquino of DOE discusses the energy situation in the Philippines.
Mr. Sergius Angelo U. Santos shares their revolutionary innovation on cloud-based energy management.
Rovinna Janel F. Cruzate discusses the benefits of adopting renewable energy-powered vehicles for both mass transport and private vehicles.
DOST-TAPI S&T Media Service
NUR LEMUEL C. CASTILLO