|4 July 2016|

Phillippines 

A vital new research project will look at ways of using small-scale wind turbines to tackle energy shortages in the Philippines and other developing countries in Southeast Asia.

Filipino researcher Sherdon Niño Uy is developing a tool to aid in decision-making for the placement of small-scale wind turbines in cities across the Philippines to meet the country’s growing energy demand.

He has secured a prestigious scholarship with the British Council and the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) of the Philippines to undertake this research at Birmingham City University in the UK as part of a PhD in Engineering.

At present, energy demand in the Philippines is not being met adequately. Rotating brownouts – where electrical power is reduced or restricted in a particular area – have been a common occurrence, especially in southern parts of the country.

Renewable energy – such as wind power – can address the growing demand for electricity, which is needed to ensure future economic development for the Philippines. Wind power can also avert the use of power barges, which are both costly and unsustainable.

However, wind energy as a power source must be implemented with small-scale wind turbines at strategic locations within a metropolis, where wind resource is at its strongest, yet space is limited. Nino’s research aims to develop a decision support system for wind resource assessment that is useful for cities, such as Manila, in order to aid in decision-making for the placement of small-scale wind turbines within an urban area.

Sherdon Niño Uy said: “My research will have clear implications for the economy of the Philippines, as it will highlight the need for more reliable, sustainable, clean and cheaper energy generated at the source of fuel. As well as attracting investment and creating new jobs to build and maintain, small-scale wind farms will reduce the problem of brownouts, fuelling the future economic development of the Philippines, as well as similar developing countries in Southeast Asia.

“The multicultural and research-oriented study plan of the UK is conducive for a PhD programme. Exposure to such an environment with various backgrounds will enrich me as a person and make me become aware of the broader world. Since the focus is on research, I will develop practical skills and craft research studies that are useful to society. Thus, I will be trained to solve real-world problems.

“People are really friendly, helpful and accommodating at Birmingham City University, so it was easy for me to adjust to the way of life in the UK. They helped me settle down quickly in a new place and arranged activities for me to meet fellow students.

“My supervisors, colleagues and administrators at Birmingham City University are always ready to offer any help that I might need, whether in academic or personal matters. I made new friends in the first few months I have been studying here and I look forward to many more great experiences that will come during my stay here.”