Among the renewable energy sources, geothermal is proven to be very reliable. Economics-wise, geothermal projects are the most stable and “unaffected” by rising global fuel prices. Socially, they are also well accepted. This pursuit of energy sources is significant for the preservation of the environment in view of the threat of global warming
Geothermal energy is environmentally friendly. It is a renewable source and can be used in ways that respect rather than upset our planet's delicate environmental balance. It provides clean and safe energy using little land. It also conserves fossil fuels and contributes to diversity in energy sources.
Once the geothermal plant is operational, its immediate benefit will be the lowering of electricity rates by at least P1.90 per kilowatt hour.
Other benefits come in the form of education, healthcare, environment and livelihood projects. This is embodied in the Department of Energy's Energy Regulations 194 which provides for the the granting of financial benefits to local government units hosting geothermal reserves and facilities.
These host LGUs of geothermal facilities are categorized as: 1) LGUs hosting the energy-generating facilities; and 2) LGUs hosting the producing geothermal reservoir. They are entitled to a one-centavo per Kilowatt-hour (P 0.01/kWh) of the electricity sales. This fund is distributed as follows:
For a generation facility and/or energy resource located in a non-highly urbanized city, the fund is distributed as follows:
- Electrification Fund at � of one-centavo (P 0.005);
- Development and Livelihood Fund (DLF) at � of one-centavo (0.0025); and
- Reforestation, Watershed Management, Health and/or Environment Enhancement Fund (RWMHEEF) at � of one-centavo (0.0025).
As part of the government’s thrust to pursue other energy sources, President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo said, "This is a very good project. It is going to change the life of people in Biliran," during a meeting with members of the Regional Development Council of Region 8. In addition, the President signed an Executive order which seeks to develop economic zones in LGUs (Local Government Units) within the vicinity of geothermal plants in order for these investments to benefit from low-power costs of geothermal plants.
As to the question how it will benefit the poor, the answer is it will certainly create jobs and increase the spending power of the people. It will therefore provide the stimulus for further economic activities in the province. Hope this has enlightened everyone. For the people, RISE BILIRAN, MABUHAY BILIRAN!
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