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Blog 1: 1st blog and 1st week at DOE

posted Jun 17, 2011, 1:01 AM by William Hong   [ updated Apr 8, 2012, 3:42 PM by Thomas Geissmann ]
(2011 - June 17)

Blogger: William
Journey: Internship at DOE-Visayas, Week 1.
This week marks a first of many. This is my first blog for I hope to make this into a energizingly regular thing, updating those interested about our rural electrification journey.Interestingly, our first step is quite symbolic. After a long search, I finally got the opportunity to do my internship here in the Philippine Department of Energy - Visayas. I`m working under the guidance of Engr.Jun Baclay, the senior engineer for the Energy Resource Development and Utilization Division. I have much hopes here in learning at the ground roots level about what rural electrification truly is. And certainly, I have a couple of adventurous tasks lined up in front of me: (1) Comprehensively assess the Pangan-an Island Solar Electrification Project (PISEP) to be able to recommend decision options for its future sustainability; (2) perform a comparative study on the different RES Rural Elec. Projects in the Visayas region, including some SHSs and micro-hydros. (3) develop a Monitoring and Assessment Framework for the RES projects. Sounds quite a handful. whooh! All doable I hope.
The first week here was more or less an introduction to the workplace. I felt right at home anyway, given the warm welcome by the staff here. I was lucky enough to have a good working space to do my research and reports. I delved right into the project as I am currently working on the report for the first task which I am naming, "the Decision" - named after Lebron Jame`s turning point in his career, though I hope not as choking. Pangan-an is in need of a decision indeed as the plant continues to decline in performance. In this study, we will be looking into the different options the project has and what indeed would be the best choice for the sustainability of the project. I personally think that the community there is not quite ready to be handed full ownership of the project but then DOE needs to unload some of their responsibilities in order to keep things in their proper places. For that though, we will see what the best options are. 

As for our Lamps for Rent Project, the opportunity is gradually unfolding. I brought the LED lamps here from Japan - all 20 of them. I showed the staff here at DOE a sample of the lamps and it was good to see how each of them expressed their high hopes for it. They said these lamps could indeed help the rurals and with the right plan, this can be taken nationwide, and then global. First steps first though. By next week I will be procuring the charging pods for these lamps. Sir Jun and I planned to visit Pangan-an Island as well. By then we can have another chat with the cooperative leaders and take the project to its next steps. Looking good anyhow.

Until then though, Ill keep up with the tasks here. First priority is the report, then the Lamps. On a side note, it was a good win for the Dallas Mavericks. Team work and focus. We shall apply that.

Cheers to the first week. A fine good start for the Journey.