One weekend, in Cagayan de Oro, Mrs. Yanna gushes in delight talking about what is normally an upsetting incident: a city-wide power interruption. Why? Because her house was only two of the many in her village which retained lights and other basic electricity services during the brown-out. The reason for this is that Mrs. Yanna has a solar photovoltaic (PV) system installed in her rooftop. Her experience tells of the important aspect of Energy Independence at the household or business level—the ability to sustain your own power source despite disturbances in the grid.
While we applaud the benefits that power grids have brought to our households, the way grids are set-up to deliver electricity to consumers from generation through transmission, and distribution means that a failure in one power plant, could affect the entire interconnected network. This leaves us with the risk of power interruptions that are out of our control. Having your own power source, like the solar PV system Mrs. Yanna has, provides some insurance for unwelcomed power outage, allowing homes and businesses to carry on with their tasks involving electricity such as working on a computer, or simply, having lighting for daily activities.
Your own Power Plant
Essentially, when a home or business is fitted with its own solar PV system, it has now turned into its own power plant. This brings about the feeling of self-sustenance to a home or business owner, and a high level of confidence knowing that he or she can count on himself for power needs. Depending on requisites like location, the size of roof or open area for solar, and of course budget, an entire household or building’s energy demands can be met by installing a solar PV system of the right capacity.
Support to the grid
This is an even more important issue in Mindanao considering that the installed capacity,or the maximum power that the Mindanao grid system can provide, is slowly being used up with very little reserves left. This is because the population in the big island has been on a steady increase over the years, combined with higher industry power requirements for the region to thrive. Energy is an imperative if we want a progressive country. Having one’s own power source at home or at work, will provide some help and support to the grid, especially when the net-metering service and on-grid installation is in place.
Net-metering, which is a system wherein an electric meter computes the debit and credit to arrive at a ‘net’ figure of electricity consumption, allows a home or building to sell excess power to the grid. This transaction typically happens with solar installations during midday when the solar PV cells are hard at work converting light energy to electricity but usage within the home or office is not high. The unused power can be sold to the distribution utility like CEPALCO, earning extra income for the system owner. This can be factored into as a credit on the electricity bill.
Freedom from increasing rates
Energy Independence could also mean freedom from an ever-increasing electricity bill. The fuel sources for traditional power plants such as coal and oil, is always on an increasing trend throughout of history. There might be price rollbacks for a week or two, or even a month but it is always on an upward direction. With installations such as a solar PV system, the fuel is primarily free so what is being paid for is only the capital expense of the equipment–once this is paid off, maintenance expenses can be stable and there will no longer be unwanted increases in electricity bills.
Independence from pollution
In this age of heightened awareness about global warming, air pollution and other environmental and health impacts, a clean energy source can respond to that sense of responsibility in all of us to help lessen pollution for ourselves, our families and our neighbors. In the Philippines, there is abundance in free sunlight as a result of our tropical location, and in Mindanao, because of our great rivers, many hydro plants have provided clean power for us in the last half century. In recent years however, unclean energy sources have been added to the energy mix at the detriment of our health and our children’s future. A solar PV installation in a home or office can reduce the need for dirty energy and allow owners like Mrs. Yanna to contribute to a cleaner environment for her own family, for others, and generally, for a cleaner Mindanao.
Solar PV rooftop installation services are now offered in Mindanao. For inquiries, please visit www.greenergydev.net/solar or go to the Facebook Page: Greenergy Solar PH.