THE heightened awareness about renewable energy resources and the growing passion to be actively involved in protecting Mother Earth came with the growing concern over climate change coupled with the rising cost of electricity.
This is basically the reason behind the setting up of Club Earth, initiated by Edward Marcs Philippines Inc., a Filipino-owned company engaged, among others, in the selling and development of alternative sources of energy, particularly solar.
“Mas maraming areas in Mindanao na walang electricity, that’s why we first established Club Earth here. We are planning to set up the club in other parts of the country soon,” Michelle Cordova, executive vice president and chief operating officer of Edward Marcs.
She said 48 percent of Mindanao has remained “unelectrified” although the island has the resources.
She said Club Earth is actually a center for renewable energy resources — not just solar, but also other sources, such as hydro.
“This is the company’s advocacy to promote development and utilization of renewable energy resources,” she said, adding that the center also serves as showroom for renewable energy products developed by local industry players.
“It’s overwhelming because many people are now concern about climate change that they want to do their share to protect the earth. Many people are now looking for ways to conserve our resources,” Cordova said.
Since they established Club Earth last year, advocates, including students, continue to visit the center for information on renewable energy, while others brought in their products to be displayed and sold at the center, along with other renewable energy products being sold by Edward Marcs.
“We help them market their products,” Cordova said.
At the center, Edward Marcs showcases the latest innovations on renewable energy, particularly solar energy products, ranging from solar photovoltaic to solar thermal.
“Solar photovoltaic, ito yong ginagamit para maglabas ka ng energy para magkaroon ng kuryente, yong solar thermal naman produces heat used for cooling and heating,” Cordova said.
She said the company ventured into new and renewable in 1997 starting with the marketing and distribution of solar water heater using flat plate panels.
“Later on, we introduced in the Philippine market the evacuated heat-pipe solar water heating system, which has greater efficiency in terms of solar thermal heat collection,” she said.
As demand for energy efficient products increase, Eedward Marcs searched for alternative sources of energy that could provide not just hot water, but also give power to run basic appliances for household use.
This was then that the company started to make use of solar photovoltaic panels. Through the help of the Department of Energy and other government agencies focused on renewable energy, Cordova said the company finally gets involved in several rural electrification projects throughout the country.
“At present, our highly qualified engineers and technicians can design solar energy system for various applications such as solar home lighting, solar streetlight, solar water pumping, solar lighting for communal facilities, and other applications which addresses the need of our clients,” she said.
At present, there is already a heightened awareness about solar energy and its various applications. Proof to this, Cordova said, is the shifting of some big companies to solar-assisted heaters. In Davao City, one of their biggest clients is the Waterfront Hotel.
“Our product has been tested by several companies such as Nestle Phils (Cavite and Cagayan de Oro facilities), Club Manila East, Davao Invent Foods, Casa Leticia Resort and many others. Our active participation in several major shows/exhibits in Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao have increased the awareness of our product and because of this we are receiving a lot of inquiries in all our offices,” Cordova said.
Edward Marcs Philippines, Inc., established in 1984, is a duly registered company, which started in the business of trading electro-mechanical equipment and spare parts and transmission line materials for companies engaged in power generation and distribution. It has offices in Manila and the cities of Cebu and Davao.
In Davao City, its office is located on McArthur Highway in Matina.
The latest addition to the efficient solar energy products being carried and promoted by the company is the solar-assisted air-conditioner.
Cordova said a large portion of energy consumption in homes, offices and factories and other facilities, is used to power airconditioning units.
“But with the use solar-assisted air-conditioner, power consumption can be reduced by at least 50 percent,” Cordova said.
“This spells a lot of savings not only for the power consumer but also preservation of the nature’s resources used for power generation. And imagine such a big saving that can be utilized for other purposes, such as providing power to areas that remained unserved,” she added.
Published Sunday, March 6, 2011