Over a hundred bikers on blinkers took to the City and Dauis streets to campaign for the commemoration and advancement of the global Earth Hour event.
But as organizers expected to see a load reduction for entire Bohol between 8:30 to way past 10:00 PM go down, with hundreds opting to turn off their appliances and gadgets for the three hour bike ride, the reduction noted in Bohol was too minimal compared to its island neighbors sharing the Visayas Grid.
The data however is unofficial, in a sense that it did not come from the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) which monitors the grids for power consumption monitoring.
But, Department of Energy’s Energy Industry Management Division chief Jorey Maleza, who has been tracking the raw data from the NGCP, in a phone conversation said that the load reduction in the Visayas, reached a sizable 31.43 megawatts (MW).
This, he added, did not immediately register at 8:30, when Earth Hour organizers called for people to switch off their lights and appliances for an hour at least.
The load reduction came in a few minutes later, a fact that he said could be the difference in time synchronization among consumers.
In his monitoring, he said the load reduction all over Visayas was recorded at 8:35 and onwards, which he said could be because after switching off at 8:30, and on a weekend, most people possibly went on to sleep without waiting for the one hour to lapse.
In his post in his social media account, Engr. Maleza said the total load reduction in the Visayas Grid is broken down as follows: Cebu at 11.12MW, Negros at 5.40MW, Panay at 7.81MW and Samar Leyte at 12.97MW.
Bohol, where there are several self-proclaimed environmentalists who have been so vocal against coal as energy source turned out to have a load reduction of only 0.16MW.
In his post, Engr. Maleza added a note that said “the figure does not include commercial and industrial establishments not directly connected to the power grid.”
He also stated that the “figure refers only to the time indicated and may not represent the actual voluntary switch off.”
Finally he said, “the publication of this figure is unofficial, and not officially sanctioned by NGCP.”
This too as Earth Hour 2019 Bohol Bike Ride participants hardly noticed houses along the 24 kilometer road traversed, which turned off or kept their lights to a dim.
When major cities and country’s iconic monuments turned off or dimmed their lights for the Earth Hour, Bohol Earth Hour Riders noted at least four major events in the 24 kilometer circuit that featured blazing lights and power zapping sound systems.
There was even a fireworks display in one, that environmentalists have openly been very vocal about.
Fireworks cause extensive air pollution in a short amount of time, leaving metal particles, dangerous toxins, harmful chemicals and smoke in the air for hours and days. Some of the toxins never fully decompose or disintegrate, but rather hang around in the environment, poisoning all they come into contact with, according to terrapass.com.
Along the bike route was a political proclamation rally at the City Square, another political proclamation rally in Dauis, a pre-fiesta event in Bool and a roadside concert along JA Clarin, all within the 8:30-9:30 Earth Hour observance.
There is however some breath of fresh air with the 2019 Earth Hour Bike Ride, organizer Jude Ybas noted.
On its 7th year, the bikers have increased, and that is why the route was stretched a bit longer this year, from the usual
From the usual 16-18 kilometers, this year, Earth Hour Ride 2019 organizers opted for the 24 kilometers which pedaled off from the Tagbilaran City Hall open park at about 6:30 and returned to completed the loop at about 10:30 PM.
In the previous Earth Hours load reductions, the DOE engineer said in 2018, the load reduction was 49.38 MW, in 2017, 44 MW and in 2016, 29.8 MW, across the Visayas.
For Bohol, in 2018, its reduction was 1.47MW; in 2017, 2MW and in 2016, 0.3MW.
2019 and 2016 are election seasons. (rahc/PIA-7/Bohol)