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Diplomat says Filipinos deserve cost-effective, reliable energy sources

Phoho caption: Ambassador of the Kingdom of Denmark to the Philippines and PalauFranz-Michael Skjold- Mellbin, , underscores the valuable contributions of revolutionary nuclear technologies to various fields such as energy, health, and agriculture. (Photo by Henri A. de Leon, DOST-STII)

QUEZON CITY, (PIA) -- Ambassador of the Kingdom of Denmark to the Philippines and Palau Franz-Michael Skjold- Mellbin underscored the valuable contributions of revolutionary nuclear technologies to various fields such as energy, health, and agriculture.

Ambassador Melbin was the keynote speaker during the 50th Atomic Energy Week recently organized by the Department of Science and Technology-Philippine Nuclear Research Institute (DOST-PNRI) at their Office in Commonwealth Avenue in Quezon City.

Carrying the theme “Agham at Teknolohiyang Pangnukleyar: Kabalikat sa Maunlad at Matatag na Kinabukasan”, the five-day celebration aims to highlight the various research and development (R&D) efforts and initiatives of DOST-PNRI towards maximizing the beneficial use of nuclear technologies and applications, including those in the energy sector.

In his keynote address, the diplomat also stressed that a good mix of diversified energy sources such as nuclear, renewables, and energy storage could ensure the abundant, cheap, and reliable energy that all Filipinos deserve.

Amb. Mellbin pointed out that one of the unfortunate discussions in recent years is a dichotomy of some kind of opposition between different kinds of energy technologies which should have not been in the first place.

He added that the future will bring energy technologies in a higher integration than we have seen before and there is a space and a need for different kinds of technologies.

“Countries want reliable, flexible, secure energy systems, and energy supply and the best way to achieve that is to have flexibility. To have options, to have several kinds of inputs into your energy system. And the future energy systems will consist not only of a variable input but also a much higher degree of system integration. So, it is not just a question of producing electricity but it will also be a question of how do you build a system that stores electricity,” Amb. Mellbin said.

The diplomat also shared how sector coupling works in his home country, Denmark, when they can produce energy and power at the same time.

“It (sector coupling) is something my own country, Denmark, has perfected. So that when we produce electricity, we harvest the heat, put it into hot water, heating systems, and centralized cooling systems and distribute it on a massive scale. These kinds of things will be further developed over the next years. We will see many new energy solutions emerging,” Amb. Mellbin said.

Amb. Mellbin knows that some energy technologies will be more suitable for certain situations, countries, and energy realities than others but he believes that time will tell what is more suitable for all of us and what kind of mixes we will end upwith.

“But I am sure that we will see an energy future where nuclear, renewables, sector coupling, and energy storage comes into place together. In a whole system thinking which is necessary to create optimal conditions that will allow you to enjoy abundant, cheap, and reliable energy for all Filipinos and you deserve that,” Amb. Mellbin added.

Furthermore, Amb. Mellbin pointed out that there is no doubt that nuclear research has always gave a great future in any country. He zoned in on key reasons where doing nuclear is not only for socioeconomic benefits but also for tackling the socioeconomic challenges that come with nuclear research and energy or the use of nuclear radiation in medicine, in developing better crops, and in other solutions that nuclear science can contribute significantly.

“How do you make sure that nuclear research and science have a broad social acceptance and that the research is explained in a way that it becomes socially acceptable for communities, not only harnessing the advantages but also live in peace, so to say, with nuclear facilities?” a question posed by Amb. Mellbin.

The diplomat also gave credit to the Philippines, specifically to DOST-PNRI for actively making research agreements with different countries on nuclear-related research efforts.

“It is very important to international cooperation and this Institute (DOST-PNRI) and the Philippines have been part of a wider international community working for nuclear energy, working with nuclear medicine, working with the development ofradiation to create better crops and cooperation is one of the hallmarks of nuclear energy and the nuclear research community in general,” Amb. Mellbin said.

After two years of virtual celebrations, the DOST-PNRI opened its doors to the public once more with the AEW 2022 that featured several technical exhibits with free guided tours.

The annual AEW celebration, as mandated under Presidential Proclamation No. 1211 in 1973, aims to generate awareness among the Filipino people on the beneficial uses of nuclear science and technology.  (dost /pia-ncr)

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Jerome Carlo Paunan


National Capital Region

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