Solar Digital Squad
October 1, 2018
Explain this solar system thing to me
Solar power is the conversion of energy from sunlight to electricity, typically using a photovoltaic system. A solar power system is made up of multiple photovoltaic (PV) panels, a DC to AC power converter (called inverter), and a rack system that holds the PV panels in place. Solar photovoltaic (PV) panels are generally fitted on the roof. The panels should be tilted at particular angles to maximize the amount of sunlight that hits the panels. In the Philippines, solar systems on the roofs of homes and businesses generate clean power by converting the energy in sunlight. Going solar is the new global energy alternative. It’s definitely trending – especially here in the Philippines. Why? Well because it’s clean, safe, green, renewable, and cheaper than electricity.
What happened at Nairobi
In June of 2017, a blackout planted itself for two days at the city hall of Nairobi City in Kenya, due to a SH732 million (Php 393,000,000) electric bill. Three weeks prior, the government had lost a court case that it filed the year before, appealing for Kenya Power to not disconnect their power supply. However, the real horror show was in the hospitals, because that is where the life-threatening situations occur, and that was where power was critical.
Now let’s check out California
With a population of approximately 40 Million, California is known for being a rich and famous state with the glitz and glamour of Hollywood and Beverly Hills. California is referred to as a leader in green energy. In May this year, California passed a law requiring that half of the state’s electricity must be derived from non-carbon producing sources by year 2030. California has been standing in the limelight for years now, as an influencer, trendsetter, and major player in clean energy. As of the end of 2017, California had installed solar capacity that produces 16% of its state power. The question is: how did they do it?
A glance in the rearview mirror
California was the first state to require all new homes to have solar power. California now requires solar panels on new homes and low-rise apartment buildings, the first such mandate in the country and the state’s latest step to limit greenhouse gas emissions. Such initiative is an example of what brings solar power to mainstream like never before. Solar capability is now a selling point for homeowners.
It hit two birds with one stone: “Builders must take one of two steps: Make individual homes available with solar panels or build a shared solar-power system serving a group of homes. In the case of rooftop panels, they can either be owned outright or be leased”.
What the Philippine options are
The Philippines can now follow suit and take on initiatives in the direction of what is referred to as the solar revolution. Invest in mini grid solar power plants. Install solar systems for all new houses and buildings. Require all homes to be powered by non-carbon producing sources (or clean energy). Use net metering to sell excess power to the utility company so that the homeowner becomes a producer AND a consumer (this is the ultimate secret to reducing, if not eliminating, those power bills).
Perhaps it is time for the Philippines to be just as bold and just as visionary. Maybe it is time to take a step towards the bright and solar California dream.
Regina Rome is a solar analyst with the Solar Digital Squad Research.