- Published: November 20, 2022
- Updated: November 20, 2022
- Language: English
- Downloads: 21
Nuclear power as the most suitable source of energy for the Philippines Soaring electricity bills, repeated blackouts; two of the major causes of headache we experience a lot nowadays. The giant power firm, MERALCO, has increased generation charges by a painful amount within the last 5 years, and of course, people are crying out loud because of this. In the middle of a power crisis, amidst soaring generation charges, the increasing cost of fuel importation, and with no suitable substitute for fossil fuel, the people ask themselves, when will this end?
Will the time come when we will not be dependent on burning fossil fuel for electricity? What would be the best power source for the Philippines? Nuclear power has been around for quite a while and it’s about time to tap this untouched resource. With this power crisis in front of the Philippines, to look for a plausible answer to the problem requires us to think outside the box, look around and search for the most suitable power source for us. We’ve tapped geothermal energy, solar energy, and wind energy; and at the end of the list, we have no choice but to look at nuclear power.
This paper explains why it is not so much a bad idea to spend time and money for nuclear energy. The suitability of one form of energy for a country may be decided by 3 factors: one, its ability to provide for the demand of all the people and industry in that particular country, and its ability to support this demand for a long time. Every human being living in the city – and that accounts for a big percentage in the population – in this world needs electricity. 5 million babies are born every year here in the Philippines and of course, these babies want to live with electricity.
We will need additional supply of electrical energy to satisfy the never ending need for energy of this growing population. More people are going to want to have cold drinks from the refrigerator every year; more people are going to want to watch the television every year; more people are going to use the computer every year, etc. The list will never end. In short, if there is an exponential growth in the population of a country, there also is an exponential growth in the demand for electrical energy.
It must be noted that, (with industrial, agricultural, social, growth) there is also scaling energy demand growth. Electrical power will be necessary with more buildings being built and with more things being invented. Remember when electricity had yet to be discovered? Life was so hard for humans then. They would have to go through hard labor just to farm rice, they would have to use gas lamps, and they would have to communicate using mail and travel using horses and mules; these are just a few situations in their hard life without electricity.
But at the time when electricity came out, these different industries started to drastically grow. The electric water pumps came, which eased the workload of farmers, the light bulb came, communication became possible, and of course, the creation of automobiles became possible. The effect of electricity on the development of the economic activities of humans is so overwhelming and it continues to do so. But now that we are hungry for development, in front of us is a looming obstacle of where are we going to get the much needed electricity for growth.
Second, on the suitability of a certain form of power is, its ability to provide power without posing a great risk to the environment and to the people using it. Everybody is hyped up about global warming, and they should be. Global warming is the result when carbon dioxide saturates the atmosphere, trapping heat in, making the Earth a giant greenhouse, thereby heating the earth like a furnace; and nitrogen oxide fills up the lungs of people, suffocating them. The process of producing electricity via fossil fuels is a major contributor to global warming and CO2 and NO2 build up.
I am feeling the effects of global warming. Do you? Of course you do – soaring temperatures during summer, almost reaching 40 degrees, and the opposite during cold months, dipping into 7 degrees. We also experience the drastic change in our climate – hailstorms in a tropical country, abnormally strong typhoons, and the seasons are shuffled. Most of us have received many text messages, have been invited to a cause, and have been asked to help mother earth by using less electricity, use less cars, plant more trees, all because of global warming.
But honestly, all of these proposals combined will barely impact the environment. Use fewer cars? This would have a chain effect on the marketing infrastructure of the Philippines. Our economy is driven by cars; land transportation is integral to our economy. We can’t simply take a huge percentage off the production of cars. Use less electricity? We could not reduce our consumption to the point where it can actually help the environment. When you think about it, adjusting our lifestyle because of global warming could severely affect the economic system of the Philippines.
Third on the suitability of a form of energy, is its cost-power production ratio, or, its economics – the cost of producing the kind of electricity that we need. We have proposed a lot of different types of energy but they are either too expensive to use or they produce too little energy relative to its implementing cost. Take solar energy for example. Solar Home Systems, a project planning to install solar panels to homes, schools, and streetlights all over the places that cannot be reached by electricity here in the Philippines, is already executed.
For 8500pesos per set, these homes can only use one light bulb, and a radio. If we are going to use that here in the city, the people would become insane, trying to make their appliances work. And, if we were to use solar energy here in the city, it would be nothing short of downgrading the level of human living, forcing us to revert to the caveman ways of living. The problem with solar power is that it cannot produce the power needed for everyday use. We could not just limit ourselves, can we?
To be able to produce power that will satisfy a human being, the solar panel should be very big; and with size comes the cost. The amount of capital needed to restructure everything to run on solar energy is too expensive. Solar power is only portable (portable in a sense that it can reach even the jungles of the Philippines) but its power-production is disproportionate to its cost. That doesn’t quite cover all the necessities. That is just one of all the alternate proposals (the others will be discussed in detail as you progress reading. )
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