Sunday, February 2, 2020

Sustainable Energy in My Neighborhood

Sustainable energy has been a hot topic ever since global warming has become a problem. Countries all over the world has started developing sustainable energy that people can use that also wouldn’t harm the environment. In the United States, people like Douglas Healy strongly promotes sustainable energy be practiced in their country. Here in the Philippines, development of sustainable energy is still young, but I'm still glad to say we have already begun.  

What is Sustainable Energy?

According to Wikipedia, sustainable energy is the practiceof using energy in a way that "meets the needs of the present withoutcompromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.” That’s why other developed countries started using solar power or even wind power for their energy sources because it doesn’t harm the environment.

Solar Panels at Home

Fosera Solar Set at Home
Fosera Solar Set at Home
Here in the Philippines, I have started seeing buildings or even households using solar panels. In our own home, I was lucky enough to acquire  a small solar panel that is used for listening to radio and charging cell phones. I was lucky to win the set because it actually costs P7,000+. Solar panels are expensive, but if you think about it, it can save you more in the future. We still can’t afford huge solar panels to be placed in our roof to sustain our house’s electricity, but that’s our plan for the future once we are able. Living in a tropical country does have its advantages because we get a lot of hot sunlight from above which is why solar energy is the best among the sustainable energy types.

Can We Still Use Solar Panels During Rainy Season?

One of the most common questions raised for solar panels is that is it still effective during the rainy season? Don’t we get enough sunlight during the rainy days? Well, it’s true that we don’t get much sunlight especially when there’s a typhoon, but do not fret. According to Seia.org, photovoltaicpanels can use direct or indirect sunlight to generate power, though they aremost effective in direct sunlight. Solar panels will still work even when the light is reflected or partially blocked by clouds.  Another good news is that the rain actually helps keep your panels operating efficiently by washing away any dust or dirt.

Solar Night Lights

LED solar spot lamps
LED solar spot lamps
While walking around our village early evenings, I can see my neighbors use  different kinds of solar lights and in different styles. I saw solar-powered LED lights mounted on their external walls where they get charged during day time and then they light up during the night which is pretty cool. I even bought a pair online, but the one that’s mounted in one of our pillars near the entrance gate got damaged during the ash fall event that happened last month from the Taal volcano eruption. I don’t know if it can still be fixed and I tried cleaning the ash away, but the ash has already been stuck due to the rain that had happened a few days back. It’s like it’s like the panel has been covered with a thin layer of cement and I can’t clean it off.  So what I’ll do is just replace it with another LED light.

Another thing that captured my interest  are the spot lamps. Some of my neighbors  have solar powered spot lamps that light up their gardens at night which I really love looking at. I do plan on purchasing one of those someday because a garden looks really good if its lit up with lamps.

Be it solar, wind, geothermal or other means of sustainable energy, I am happy that people have begun recognizing these alternative energy sources and I am starting to see it in my own neighborhood which gives me a nice feeling about us as humans. It’s as if this is how technology should be used in the first place is for the betterment of the environment.

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