The windmills of Bangui by the Northwind Power Development Corp.

There have been many conflicting views on the aesthetic factor of wind turbines.  While others find them utterly ugly and a blight because “they will spoil the view in remote, rural areas”, as noted by Sami Grover of Carrboro, NC, USA and as posted in the readers’ comment box for an on-going survey at TreeHugger (one of my favorite web/blog sites), more people find them elegant and beautiful. Our very own windmills in Bangui, the first of its kind in Southeast Asia, have been the subject of countless  fascinating photos all over the web. The wind turbines were featured prominently in the WOW Philippines Regine Velasquez tourism campaign which is still being aired on tv, making  the town of Banqui a top tourist destination in Ilocos. I, for one, couldn’t resist the urge to participate in the TreeHugger survey. While I agree that they are disastrous to biodiversity, since birds accidentally get caught by the freewheeling vanes once they’re on (though it has been reported that birds have also collided with skyscraper buildings, towers, and aircrafts — more disastrous because they involve the loss of human lives), I also appreciate their beauty — defininitely, better than smog and soot from too much technological advancement. A green business, it helps mitigate the worsening  environment situation by lessening the accumulation of greenhouse gases.

On a different note, the Philippine Renewable Energy (RE) Act of 2008, which aspires to accelerate the development and use of the country’s abundant renewable energy resources, was passed on December 16, 2008. Department of Energy Secretary Angelo Reyes reported, “The government is looking to double its renewable energy-sourced power capacity from 4,500 megawatts (MW) to 9,000 MW in 10 years.” The RE Act ensures that companies investing in wind, solar and geothermal projects are granted fiscal and non-fiscal incentives, one of which is a 7-year income tax holiday. Yehey!! I’m thinking wishfully (with crossed fingers) that the Ilocos Norte consumers will be able to enjoy what we’ve long been expecting to be a bonus from these windmills situated right in our own domain. The Ilocos Norte Electric Cooperative (INEC) has also acquired the Agua Grande Mini-Hydro Plant in Brgy. Balaoi, Pagudpud, and announced in 2005 that it is planning to put up another one in Brgy. Pansian. We hope that the enactment of the RE Act, which benefits this kind of projects that  help cut down on fossil fuels, will also help augment the meager income of the majority of the consumers, especially that the economy is in the doldrums.

Photographed by Blauearth ALL RIGHTS RESERVED