Posted tagged ‘clean energy’


February 12, 2011

Erle Frayne D. Argonza


In the province of Ilocos Norte, in northern Philippines, is a pilot project for wind energy… Hydraulics application has already seen the rise of dams that generate at least couples of thousands of megawatts of power… Geothermal energy will be breaching the 3,000 megawatt level soon, making PH the world’s top geothermal power producer.


There are more such narratives of nascent and maturing power producers that tap alternative energy sources, or energy other than fossil fuel. We have vast reserves of natural gas in the country, which is fossil-related though clean energy in classification.


Solar power is a sunrise industry, and the good news is that our engineers here have exceeded the capability level of those in California and elsewhere in producing state-of-the-art solar panels. Ocean power research & development is proceeding at rapid pace, with installations projected in pilot areas in the short run.


Wind power potentials of the Philippines itself is projected at past the 70,000 megawatt level, which is a whopping figure that is over five (5) times the current electricity needs. Already, over 3,000 megawatts of wind power projects are in the pipeline, either as on-going or soon-to-start-installation projects.


In Manila, shuttle vehicles powered by electricity ferry shoppers at the Araneta Center and the Mall of Asia or MOA. Jeepneys in Makati using electricity are also shuttling shoppers as well as employees around the classy Ayala Central Business District, the country’s financial center. Tricycles powered by electricity are also rising, while motorbikes powered by electricity are now in use in Palawan.


The news about the usage of alternative energy is increasing by the day in the Philippines. Hopefully, the industrialized Northern countries will move ahead in shifting towards clean energy despite the economic downturns they are now experiencing. Emerging markets are surging ahead in this very dynamic field, and this phenomenon is causing me a sense of fulfillment and happiness being a habitué of the ASEAN.


In previous articles, I already shared the information about China’s perfection of the nuclear fusion technology. The news first reached my attention in 2007, and at that time it was projected that the first commercial prototypes for fusion breeder plants will be out in 10 years time. That means that as early as 2016 China will launch nuclear plants powered by fusion technology.


So dynamic is the field of alternative energy R & D that the sources of ideas for it are like oceans of thought. There simply are too many options for deriving alternative energy, so that in the not-so-distant future the starships for traversing space will be fueled by clean-recyclable-inexhaustible energy.


Let’s take the planet itself and its constant motion. As the planet moves around its axis, torque is generated. Torque is a potential source of energy, and for as long as the Earth revolves around its axis, torque will be inexhaustible. This is one area that I wish to be involved in the R&D phase itself.


Airplanes, airships, rockets and satellites can be fuelled in the future by torque among many options. By airships I mean maritime ships of today that can be retrofitted and re-engineered to be able to fly in the air, though at low altitudes, thus turning into a more efficient passenger vehicle more than today’s airplanes.


Another planetary source of energy for tomorrow is albedo. Around 1/3 of the heat that gets to the Earth from the Sun and other celestial sources escape as albedo. My thesis is that the escaping albedo can be tapped as an inexhaustible source of energy.


Necessarily, the policy environment and institutions that will propel clean energy and make it the sole energy source in the future should be prepared and strengthened early enough. Incidentally, the Philippines is among the countries with an exemplary policy environment for clean energy, and so industrialized and emerging markets can emulate the experience of my country in this line of endeavor.


The long-term goal, of course, is to rid the planet of fossil fuel. At some point in the future, extraction of oil & gas should be put to a stop. Prolonged extraction is causing imbalances in the geological structures of the planet, imbalances that can be irreparable in the long run. It would be best to carve out a global policy architecture to cease all fossil fuel extractions in the future, and enforce this strictly.


I would be celebrating the day when fossil fuel will cease to be the source of electricity and vehicular power in the foreseeable future. As far as electricity generation is concerned, the Philippines is almost there. But I shall wait a bit till electricity will be totally clean and using non-fossil energy sources.


[Philippines, 09 February 2011]





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September 20, 2010


Erle Frayne D. Argonza

Good Day from the suburbs south of Manila!

Another gladdening news for us global citizens just came out recently from the heraldry mills: that of Asians leading the way to fuel-saving behavior. For those advocates of mitigating ‘greenhouse effect’ gas emissions through direct motorist interventions, the news surely comes as a refreshing one.

In a report summarized in the Philippine Daily Inquirer (by Amy R. Remo, 22 August 2012), the Shell corporation accordingly conducted a research which shows the greater inclination of Asians for fuel saving then the Europeans. 3,300 drivers across Asia and Europe served as respondents, and was released by the Shell FuelSave Report.

The motivation for fuel-saving, as validated by the research, were (a) the prospect of saving money and (b) being environmentally responsible. One can see, from the report, how economics has been merging with ecological balance concerns for the entire Asian continent, a reality that wasn’t there two (2) decades back.

The increased awareness of Asian motorists towards fuel utilization efficiency clearly deconstructs those contorted notions that developing countries are too low in environmental awareness. It’s plain stereotyping, this protestation from Western/Northern countries that Asians can’t commit to cutting down fossil fuel emissions as their development path still lingers on in the phase of ‘smokestack economy’ of yesteryears.

Fact is, the research findings coincides with the recent manifestation of exemplary behavior by Asian countries in re-engineering their policy environments to shift their power production and fuel consumption towards more clean energy in the foreseeable future. It is the Northern/Western countries that have been remiss in this regard, as one can see, with the USA leading the way to stubborn non-commitment to international protocols on cutting down fossil fuel emissions.

The report accordingly conducted online interviews beginning March 21 this year in the following countries: Philippines, UK, Denmark, Norway, Netherlands, Germany, Turkey, Singapore, Hong Kong, Malaysia and Thailand.   

My own country, the Philippines, has been among the most applauded internationally as it had reshaped its policy environment to develop and mass produce green energy fuel sources. Hybrid engines are now available in the country that utilize a combination of alternative and fossil fuel sources, while solar-powered vehicular prototypes are being designed across the country (even university students are vying for exemplary prototypes that can be mass produced locally and abroad).

The resort to fuel saving is a transitory phase towards a shift to total clean energy sources (solar, fuel cells, to the more ambitious gravitic and plasma technologies) that will be the viable option in the near future. My own forecast is that it won’t take till 2025 when the total shift can be accomplished across Asia, with the emerging markets of today leading the way towards that ambitious goal.

[Philippines, 12 September 2012]








September 2, 2010

Erle Frayne D. Argonza

Good afternoon!

Large swaths of lands in Asia were recently flooded, which paints a gloomy landscape in China, India, and Pakistan. Flooding, however, doesn’t kill civilizations, and floodwaters should be viewed on the positive side as providing, after calamities, much needed water and energy source.

As history has shown, it is the sudden absence of water, via large-scale calamity, that had killed many civilizations in antiquity. For as long as we have plenty of water reserves in the planet, civilization will continue. As energy source, water has provided hydro-electricity, geothermal (heated water from underground sources), and fuel cell medium (electrolysis).

The present onrush of waters could, in fact, serve as blessing to crack the news of a new form of energy: fusion nuclear energy. Talked about for decades as mere theory in classroom chemistry and physics and in coffee shops, fusion energy is now becoming more of a reality each day.

China unquestionably leads in the research & development efforts on fusion energy. Sometime in mid-2008 yet, the news leaked out to the world that China’s research scientists were able to make a breakthrough in the research phase of fusion energy. As per information leaking out, China is ahead of the rest of the world by at least a decade.

Reports had it at that time that a commercial breeder plant was still around ten (10) years in the offing. That means the earliest time for the release of such a breeder plant will be around 2018 yet. A tedious process indeed it is to perfect a model for commercial usage, but time runs fast these days, so let us anticipate the formal release of the first prototype just couples of years away from now.

The era of clean energy will surely receive a boost when fusion begins to roll, and by next decade we can safely forecast that fossil energy will rapidly decline in importance leading to its demise before 2030. I just wish the time table for burying fossil energy could be shortened, and like everyone else who is tired of the machinations of the oil oligarchs and financier-speculators in spot markets, I could hardly wait to offer dirges to fossil fuels.

[Philippines, 30 August 2010]