Quezon City, Philippines, 4 November 2022 – The Foundation for a Sustainable Society, Inc. (FSSI) joined the fifth Renewable Energy (RE) Congress held on October 12, 2022 at the University of the Philippines, Diliman, Quezon City, and online.
At a time when access to sustainable energy is critical to the country’s economic recovery, this year’s RE Congress focused on renewable energy in the context of addressing the concerns of workers and women particularly on income, livelihood, services, and participation in the energy transition process.
Renewable Energy Program for the Agri-Fisheries Sector
In partnership with WeGen Energy Philippines (WeGen), FSSI also co-presented the session on the Renewable Energy Program for the Agri-Fisheries Sector.
WeGen is an RE company that specializes in making use of the potential of solar photo-voltaic (PV) technologies to save on electricity costs, and as a means to combat greenhouse gas emissions and climate change. A subsidiary of WeGen, We Gen Laudato Si is a social enterprise partner of FSSI.
During the session, speakers shared their experiences on the application of renewable energy for agro-industrial purposes.
Photo Courtesy: WeGen
Engr. Shawna Velasco, Engineering Supervisor of San Andres Aqua Culture Corp (SANACOR), spoke about the productive use of RE in the aquaculture industry. SANACOR, a partner of WeGen, has three shrimp farms in the Sarangani Bay area, the largest of which, located in Kawas, Alabel, covers 92 hectares and now runs on solar energy.
For 32 years, SANACOR had relied on their local electric distributor and diesel generator sets to power their pumps and aerators. In 2019, the company started to shift to clean energy through the installation of their solar photovoltaic (PV) system from WeGen. Their grid-tied solar PV project became operational in September 2020. Engr. Velasco cited that their shift to solar resulted to reduced electricity cost, reduced grid power consumption, and reduced waste and carbon footprint.
Before investing in RE, SANACOR used to consume an average of 300,000 kwh per month from the grid. Now, they average at 264,000 kwh monthly consumption from the grid, and 66,000 kwh from the solar PV system. Engr. Velasco shared that this has allowed them to save Php3.00/kwh every month, which, she says, is already big savings for SANACOR.
Apart from energy savings, since the solar PV was launched, SANACOR has avoided a total of 867.53 tons CO2 emissions and has saved an equivalent of 730.55 tons of standard coal.
After the success of their solar PV project, SANACOR is eying to install the first floating solar PV system in Mindanao.
Other speakers during the session were Mr. Francisco M. Vilela Jr., Vice President of Medvil Farms, Inc., which operates a hatchery in Pampanga. Hatchicks also runs on a 355.68 kWp solar PV system built by WeGen. Also present were Engr. Diogenes Armando Pascua of the University of Science and Technology in Southern Philippines who introduced the Powertubes and REcool Smartbox, two innovations that could help fisherfolk cut costs on batteries and ice, and Mr. Mars Catan, Chief Operating Officer of MAPECON Green Charcoal Philippines, Inc.
The Deep Dive Session encouraged the use of RE and demonstrated how it can help boost production and income for Filipino farmers and fishers.
To learn more about these cases of application, you may access our learning paper on the Deep Dive session through this link.
The RE Congress is an annual event that aims to provide a venue for discussions on developments in the RE industry. Furthermore, it aims to contribute to raising awareness, enhancing capacities, and facilitating the realization of better policies and partnerships among stakeholders through the plenaries and breakout sessions that tackle RE policy, energy efficiency, access, financing, practices, and innovations. The RE Congress is a flagship project of the Center for Empowerment, Innovation, and Training on Renewable Energy (CentRE), in partnership with the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung (FES).