Science and Environment

Marine scientist eyes R&D on ocean energy

Rainier Allan Ronda - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines – A marine scientist based in academe is urging the Philippines to pour investments into ocean energy resource research and development.

Laura David of the University of the Philippines Marine Science Institute (UP-MSI) said that being an archipelago with more than 7,100 islands, the country can harness ocean energy as a clean and renewable source that can greatly contribute to solving the current power supply problem.

During a presentation at the recently held 38th Annual Scientific Meeting (ASM) of the National Academy of Science & Technology (NAST), David said that waves or tides from the ocean can provide an infinite supply of electricity if local scientists develop the technology.

“It’s more reliable than wind and solar. As long as the moon is there, it can be a source of power,” David said.

She noted that sites of tidal energy facilities would be in islands or coastal areas with poor electricity services.

David pointed out that there were promising advances in ocean energy technology development in the Orkney islands in Scotland, proving that power can be produced from ocean waves.

The R&D on ocean energy in the Orkney islands has led to the establishment of the European Marine Energy Center where scientists are perfecting the technology needed to convert wave and tidal energy into electricity.

David is one of MSI’s scientists and researchers venturing into ocean renewable energy (ORE) technology development. Other colleagues of David into ORE research and development are engineer Ma. Rosario Ang, and professors Allan Nerves and Michael Pedrasa.

A recent study conducted by the Mindanao State University showed that ocean energy can provide an estimated 17,000 megawatts of electricity.

David said that in studies to be conducted on the ideal energy mix in the Philippines, the potential of ocean energy production should be considered and given grants for R&D if tapped.

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