Powering up BARMM with renewable energy

The New Zealand government expressed interest of powering up the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) with renewable energy (RE).

Power is one of the strengths of New Zealand as it uses mainly renewable energy (RE) sources making it one of the lowest carbon dioxide emitting countries in terms of electricity generation.

In an interview, NZ Ambassador-delegate Peter Kell said they are eyeing BARMM because they would like to support the Philippine government is doing and by working together with their partners, they are exploring on possible areas of cooperation.

“We are interested on working together on areas where we have strengths and one of those is the renewable energy. That is one of the area we want to work and support in Mindanao,” Kell said.

The electricity sector in New Zealand uses mainly renewable energy sources such as hydropower, geothermal power and wind energy.
“Our RE profile where about 80 percent is renewable mainly is hydro which is about 40 percent and proportions of RE is geothermal, wind and solar,” he said.

Kell added that when New Zealand became 100 percent renewable electricity-using government, they made a commitment to have their electricity be 100 percent RE and by 2035 they also made a commitment to be low carbon emission by 2050.

“That means we have to up the proportion of our RE as the moment. If there are other projects where we can draw our strengths on RE then we will be very interested,” he said.

On his end, Honorary Consul of New Zealand in Mindanao Vicente Lao said there is a need to develop the potentials of Mindanao with the help of NZ in terms of biomass.

According to Lao Mindanao has a lot of biomass such as banana tree, stalks of rice and corn that can be developed into power.

“The technology we have in biomass is not that advanced. We have so much biomass in Mindanao and its just being thrown away right now. I think we have a good potential in biomass generation,” Lao said.

Kell arrived in Davao City on January 20 to 31 and visited various universities and colleges to promote the New Zealand Scholarship program.
Priority sectors for study include post-graduate degrees in agriculture, renewable energy, disaster risk management, and public sector management including peace and conflict studies and indigenous studies.