Meet Engr Isabelo Rabuya, Newton Fund Institutional Links Grant awardee.
Research topic: Capacity in research and development embedded in case studies related to energy in the built environment and for rural electrification
Host institution / UK university: University of Southampton (UoS)
Home institution: University of San Carlos (USC)
Taking research further
Though the CHED-Newton Institutional Links grant, USC CREST was able to visit communities, talk with people, engage the local government and involve the stakeholders to better understand the problem. In an interview, Engr Rabuya said ‘We do research but at the same time, we contribute to the development of the community.’
The partners had a seamless working relationship. ‘Working with USC is a big pleasure for us,’ Dr Majbaul Alam of UoS commented.
Proving the team’s dedication to research for development, USC CREST has taken the project further and gathered multi-agency support for funding, research capacity and influence on policy after the Newton Agham grant concluded in 2019.
The EU-ASEP, for example, is helping the team install solar PV systems for several households in three islands in Cebu through its Access to Sustainable Energy Programme-Clean Energy Living Laboratories (ASEP-CELLS) project led by the Ateneo de Manila University School of Government. The USC is also currently working with their partner ICLEI (Local Governments for Sustainability) on co-developing with LGUs a local energy efficiency and conservation plan for compliance to the new law on Energy Efficiency and Conservation (RA 11285).
USC has, since the project ended, developed courses on energy literacy and building energy modelling. Through CHED, the first course, ‘Energy Wise: Are You Green?’ is set to be provided to other universities in the country. Both courses will also be offered online soon.
Engr Rabuya and team have also published two papers on energy access. One is on a cost-effective power generation system for off-grid island communities and the second is on the electrification landscape of rural off-grid island communities in the Philippines.