DOE to make MMSU as net zero energy campus

By Daniel P. Tapaoan, Jr. 


The Department of Energy (DOE) is eyeing to make Mariano Marcos State University (MMSU) as a net zero energy campus. 


In his visit in MMSU last November 18, DOE Undersecretary Roberto B. Uy said the energy department will establish Net Zero Energy Buildings (NZEB) that will enable the university to use renewable energy as lone source of electricity and fuel. 


Using solar photovoltaic distillery and biomass, an NZEB produces enough renewable energy to meet its own annual energy consumption requirements, thereby reducing the use of non-renewable energy in an establishment. 


Uy said he found MMSU as DOE’s potential partner in showcasing net zero energy consumption in the country. 


The University is the home of the National Bioenergy Research and Innovation Center (NBERIC) which advocates the development and optimal use of bioenergy as a renewable resource.


“I used to call it a dream, but now, it is becoming a reality. I truly believe that the university has the capability to do that,” he expressed. 


A feasibility study conducted by DOE shows that “MMSU has a vast track of land that can be used in establishing NZEBs.”


He added that making MMSU a net zero university “is quite exciting and is going to be a hard work, but we will make it [happen] with the help of stakeholders.” 


MMSU President Shirley C. Agrupis thanked the DOE official for choosing MMSU as partner for net zero energy, and expressed commitment to materialize the project. 


On the same day, officials of DOE and MMSU held a meeting at the University Center for Flexible Learning to discuss about this project. Joining them were representatives from the United Nations Development Programme Philippines, the Provincial Government of Ilocos Norte, and Ilocos Norte Electric Cooperative. 


They also conducted an ocular inspection on the proposed NZEB sites in the Batac campus. 


The energy official noted that renewable energy might be expensive, “but with the commitment [of stakeholders], it will not only help save the environment, but it will also be cheaper in the long run.”


Renewable energy is an essential part of the country's low emissions development strategy and is vital to addressing the challenges of climate change, energy security, and access to energy.


In 2017, the DOE cited MMSU as the number six energy-efficient agency in the Philippines. The University is also the only university in the country that received the Don Emilio Abello Energy Efficiency Award for saving about PHP3.1 million equivalent to 412,243 kilowatt hours in 2016. (StratCom)