Dept. of Energy wants to regulate use of solar panels in PH

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The government, through the Department of Energy (DOE), said there is a need to set up installation standards for photovoltaic (PV) solar panels due to its growing demand in the market.

Photo credit: inhabitat.com
Photo credit: inhabitat.com

Mario Marasigan, director of the DOE?s Renewable Energy Management Bureau, said many PV solar facilities are not correctly installed, resulting in failed operations.

?The problem is not unique to the Philippines? but even globally since regulation in not yet in place,? he added.

The installation of PV solar panels was discussed during the recent Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation ? Expert Group 44th Meeting (APEC-EGNRET ) in Laoag City attended by the expert group composed of APEC member economies like Japan, Korea, Singapore, Thailand, United States, Philippines, and Chinese Taipei.

Raised during the discussions were instances of blackouts in large cities of Southeast Asia which pushed investors to put up solar power plants.

Andre Susanto of Castlerock Asia said many countries lack workmanship and safety regulations for solar PV installations that cause unsafe and failed installations, system underperformance, frequent system repairs, and unnecessary expense for end-user.

?We may have a strong demand for the solar power but private companies need to be confident on the capability of installers and engineers. Once there is a good set of local PV solar installers, foreign investors will come in. They?d be confident enough that the technical people can efficiently provide the service from start to end,? he added.

A national curriculum with a certification standard to produce highly capable and well-groomed industry professionals was presented to the expert group.

Marasigan said the Philippines has started solar panel installations in private academic institutions resulting in reduced power bills for schools.

He also sees the need for individual households to turn to solar power, noting that solar power generation should be taken as a consolidated effort in a village.

?It is impossible for household to generate solar power individually. But we are seeing possibility that they can be consolidated as a community,? Marasigan said. — PIA

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