Renewable energy forum puts Negros on global clean energy map

Feature story - March 14, 2003
Environmental group Greenpeace saluted the people of Negros today for taking the lead in the country's shift towards renewable energy development. Environmentalists, government leaders, businessmen and the public gathered at the Mabuhay Renewable Negros forum to move forward provincial energy development plans that use clean renewable technology such as wind, solar and biomass.

"The political will of the government leaders in Negros along with the leadership displayed by the Department of Energy, is highly commendable. This is how a government should function - with foresight and decisiveness," said Red Constantino of Greenpeace Southeast Asia.

Negros is one of many Philippine provinces with abundant wind, solar and biomass potential. Negros is also the first province in Southeast Asia to embark on a sustainable energy-based development agenda crafted collectively by local and national government, progressive industry, and civil society. Aside from the office of Provincial Governor Joseph Maranon, the public conference was also addressed by legislative clean energy advocate and Lone District of Bacolod Representative Monico Puentevella and Negros Occidental 5th District Representative Apolinario "Jun" Lozada.

"The global renewable energy market, particulary that of wind power, solar and biomass, is experiencing phenomenal growth worldwide. I salute the people of Negros for tapping into this economic powerhouse right now and for showing the way for the rest of the developing world," said Sven Teske a renewable energy expert from Greenpeace Germany.

Also addressing the forum were representatives from Thailand and Mexico. "The people of Negros have been a model and inspiration to the people of Thailand. We're learning from their experience and are also on our way to implementing GRIPP-type projects in Thailand. Negros has shown us that with political will, changes towards clean and sustainable energy are possible," said Penrapee Noparumpa of Greenpeace Southeast Asia in Thailand.

An estimated 100 participants from key cities and municipalities in Negros, progressive industry leaders such as the Solar Electric, Victorias Bioenergy Inc. and the MetroBacolod Business Chamber of Commerce, the academe, and civil society groups such as PRRM, PEI and the Negros Cycling Federation.