October 21, 2017- A consultative meeting on sustainable energy in the built environment and off-grid communities was held between the academe represented by the Center for Research on Energy Systems and Technologies (CREST) of University of San Carlos and different stakeholders last October 21, 2017, in Cebu J Lounge, 19th Floor, J Centre Mall, Mandaue City.
It was attended by Prof. AbuBakr Bahaj of University of Southampton (UoS) Sustainable Energy Research Group (SERG), Dr. Michael Lochinvar Abundo of OceanPixel, Miss Andrea Teran and Danie Son Gonsalvo of British Council, Atty. Marissa P. Cerezo of DOE REMB, Engr. Edilberto Paradela of DOST VII, Mr. Rizel Rabaca of LGU Mandaue, Mr. Richard Alfafara of Visayan Electric Comp (VECO), Dr. Alejandro Tongco- GIS for Renewable Energy Consultant, faculty researchers and graduate students of the School of Engineering (SOE) led by its dean- Dr. Evelyn Taboada, CREST led by its director- Dr. Luzvisminda M. Bellotindos, and CHED-Newton Fund project researchers and staff led by its project leader- Engr. Isabelo A. Rabuya.
The whole-day engagement was conducted to discuss relevant updates, issues, challenges, and opportunities in the two research themes of the project namely energy efficiency on the built environment and rural off-grid electrification. The forum also aimed to evaluate recent progress on the proposed localized solutions to determine the applicability of microgrids in various Philippine energy clusters and develop a roadmap to address relevant needs in energy efficiency in buildings.
The forum highlighted the weaknesses that the country is facing when it comes to implementing efficient energy solutions, especially in the rural off-grid communities. This was after each stakeholder (DOE, DOST, VECO, LGU- Mandaue City) delivered their respective updates on energy projects and interventions including its relevant issues, challenges, and opportunities. However, optimism is not void as everyone involved in the discussion expressed their willingness to put their best foot forward in any collaboration that may come up later this year.
The forum ended well and highlighted concrete and relevant insights about sustainability and efficiency in energy systems in the country. Generally, all actions that CREST needs to take-on in the next days must address the three main goals set by the discussion. The first one is on concretizing the collaboration framework among the various partners of CREST as representative of the academe (i.e. DOE, DOST, VECO, LGU Mandaue City among others) to work together as one in the global initiative of mitigating the effect of climate change through various R&D works on energy. Second is the identification and prioritization of joint initiatives and projects relevant to the themes of this forum. Lastly, conducting joint planning or road mapping on how the partnership and collaboration can move forward in an integrative and holistic perspective.