How far have we gone and where are we leading to after a decade of efforts to put together into one room the minds of the government, market stakeholders, technology players, academe, media, development partners and both local and international organizations?
Monday, June 14, kicked off the 10th Asia Clean Energy Forum at the ADB grounds in Ortigas, Pasig City. The parade of different nationalities getting themselves registered at ADB reception area must have intimidated me a bit – they were all in suites and ties. It has been months since I’ve been traversing the sunny downtown of Tacloban among the supertyphoon survivors, mostly spending my days in very casual shirts and cycling the one way streets to our solar facility. Yesterday, I found myself in the concrete boundaries of the corporate world, among the high rises of Ortigas, where people from their respective offices come to learn or to preach about what they perceive their contribution to the clean energy push is.
I sat through some of the pre-forum sessions including one that showcased next generation transport solutions. There were a couple that presented about electric transportation, with whom our Tacloban-Marasbaras Ejeepneys and our converted EMulticab, the re-purposing of Haiyan damaged cabs, sure could keep up! The electron-powered vehicles technology has long been present in the market and is no longer a question about technological viability but more on making it blend into our economic systems of molecule-powered fossil fuel cars. Secondary to which is the question of electron generation. The Philippines’ grid is still largely fossil fuels based, and although other forums showed that we are ahead of other ASEAN countries in the widespread of renewable energy technologies, electricity source and generation is a very important consideration in using electric cars, a consideration that has long mattered in the blueprint of the RE-Charge Tacloban initiative.
The pre-forum sessions were a good head start for the forum proper that will begin tomorrow. Zooming out my advocacy lens from the Haiyan hit communities, to a wider investment-based perspective, I hope to find answers to my first question in the next couple of days.