Rewriting my Academic Temptation

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In 2013, I wrote my blog post on my academic temptation to dive back to graduate school. Back then, I was contemplating on getting a PhD and posted a stock photo of wind turbines. I never really understood why my subconscious chose a wind turbine, maybe now I know.

In November 2019, I had a opportunity to attend Wind Europe 2019 Offshore with the conference fees sponsored by the Global Wind Organization (GWO).  It was a great experience overshadowing my trip to Paris.  Honestly, I was not as excited for Paris than I was for Copenhagen.

From 2014, I performed a number conformity assessment jobs for Bureau Veritas. With Nordex Acciona on the legal and compliance requirements for setting up Wind Power Projects for BV Hamburg and I served as team lead for the GWO Certification of Consolidated Training Systems Inc. (CTSI) for BV Denmark. Both are fruitful experiences that allowed me to find opportunities to work on what the German’s refer to as the Energiewende allowing me to find a job opening for GIZ in which I guess I was the only qualified person to do technically, though not politically.

There are times when I would feel that political backing and patronage can be more valuable than your innate technical knowledge and experience.  For my family, nobody really knows what I’m working on except that it has something to do with climate change.

20191128_123055_HDRStrange things do happen after six years. I went back to graduate school not for a PhD, I ended up taking another masters degree on occupational health. Its a professional degree but I chose to write a thesis to get that goal to publish something in a peer reviewed journal.  Nobody really understood why I did that but I think its a truly satisfying experience. Anyway, not having  another masters degree is equivalent to just a bachelors degree after undergoing an equivalency assessment of  my academic records.

I don’t feel bad that I am not getting a PhD yet but I do feel motivated and inspired in writing something that would be of value to the Kigali Amendments to the Montreal Protocol.  Though I’m still at the proposal writing stage and getting through the initial hurdle of research ethics review on human subjects, I do feel optimistic about it…procrastination do sink in sometimes…still tempted to go further???

 

From Off-Grid to Offshore

Have mixed feelings about my future, but for the month of November 2019, I will try to be positive and slowly post my renewable energy journey or more like an Energy Transition journey from off-grid to offshore in preparation for 2020.

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Starting with an off-grid Solar PV installation at  TESDA. Please acknowledge that the picture originally came from me.  At this point, there is so much uncertainty about the future but several things are certain about Solar Energy.  The cost of solar has been reduced significantly that an installation can provide adequate returns in 5 to 7 years. Now its worth it, plus add an ultra-efficient cooling system running on natural refrigerants, then you can easily achieve net zero carbon emissions.

Frustrations? Yes, several, have had a long list of things that are extremely frustrating about this since I started blogging in 2009. The list even persists longer prior to that. Some have nothing to do with the slow uptake of renewable energy technologies.  Others have something to do with being in the wrong place and at the wrong time. Loving what I do, though not loving where I’m at. Looking forward to what I will post at the end of the month…when I reach offshore!

Consciously Coming to Copenhagen

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I told myself that if I won the raffle for Wind Europe 2019 I’ll come to Copenhagen and just spend part of my holiday trip there.

As of 31 October 2019, I won.  Wow, already booked my flight to Copenhagen via SAS on the 26th from Paris, will be a bit late, though. I will also be late on the 25th since I just flew in from Taipei on that morning.

I had to make major itinerary changes.  Luckily, it was also Paris Climate Finance Week and I have to attend to two (2) events on the 25th and the 29th.  However, this is part of my birthday week and celebration weekend. Crazy mix of business and pleasure. I am now only left with visiting Paris with just 2.5 days from November 30 and December 1. Will be flying back on December 2.  Huh! Maybe I should not come to the Climate Finance Day Event and just spend the day sightseeing. 

After the Air Conditioning Transition proposal for the NAMA Facility I feel  a strong urge to make changes, to work on renewable energy and more work on the energy transition or as the Germans say Energiewende and of course on climate finance.  I have no background on finance per se but I do have a strong background on GHG verification and ensuring the integrity of a ton of CO2eq mitigated.

Been listening to K-pop lately (long shot…), the last time I went to South Korea was on April 2014 for Myda’s birthday and as a side trip, I went to Songdo in Incheon to look for employment opportunities in the Green Climate Fund or GCF.  I never really fully understood the purpose of the GCF until I worked for GIZ which has been very keen on getting a GCF project.  The process was extremely similar to the call for proposals of the NAMA Facility funded by the German Environment Ministry and the British Ministry of Trade.  I am not sure if I had written about it in detail but we did participate on the 6th Call of the NAMA Facility which was an intense whirlwind I had this year.

It was crazy,  beating deadlines and soliciting commitments from our project partners. I don’t know if we could make it again, it takes a lot of integrity on our part, to prove ourselves beyond our idealistic principles of natural refrigerants in terms of coefficient of performance, safety and of course conformity assessment to international standards.  Sometimes though I feel like I don’t belong to this global program.  I love what I do but somebody at the North Sea seemed to be calling me. OK let’s go to Copenhagen, just try. We’ll see.

 

 

Mt. Apo Calling

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The time stamp on this photo is 3:47 am.  I think this is somewhere in Makilala, North Cotabato in 2012. I wanted to master night photography, but I need a stronger lens to do so. I haven’t maximized the use of my Olympus EPL-2, do plan to buy a Panasonic 20mm pancake lens, five years delayed. I hope the quality remains.

 

I was not photoshopped into the Chocolate Hills

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Be careful what you put to social media. People can manipulate images. I was not that Kenyan Girl who was obviously photoshopped into the Great Wall of China. Above was an old photo of mine taken January 2012.  It was my first trip to Bohol for Bureau Veritas. After five (5) years doing management system audits and documenting QHSE, I have decided to go back to development work.  I have done quite a bit of sustainable development work prior to joining BV, the difference maybe is that I just don’t own a really great high resolution camera, maybe the next time I travel, I may have one wherever my new work experiences could take me.

Ten years ago, I told myself that my career goals are to work for a Multi-Lateral Development Organization and become a Lead GHG Verifier. Maybe God is kind to me, I still have not achieved those goals…because maybe…my career could have been over by now….one things for sure though, such goals are attainable, but such goal could not be fully achieved if I stay in my current situation.  There are policy barriers,  market barriers, or personally motivated manipulative barriers. People fear the unknown. However, I do know where I want to go.

I am very much thankful for BV that I was able to gain the basics of auditing based on ISO 19011, data quality assurance, even actual implementation of ISO 17020 for inspection activities. These are the recommended Quality Standards specified by the IPCC. More importantly, I was able to get myself copies of ISO 14064-1,2 and 3. Though Part 3 is a struggle with Atoy, at least I was able to do actual GHG Verification work for Energy and Agriculture Sectoral Scopes.

Most of my verification work involved more studying, desktop review of data, recalculations and less physical verification. Now that I have gotten this knowledge, what should I do with it?

Hot Summer, Winter Ready

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI can’t believe that Gyeongbokgung Palace will be snowfilled in December, Spring and Summer will soon pass and my next trip North East Asia will be in December. I haven’t traveled in the winter farther north. Being in South East China in 2012 was limited to 5-10 degrees celsius. I have no idea what its like to be somewhere subzero.

As early as summer, I’m already preparing for my winter trip. A wool coat, the parka we bought at Bupyeong Station in Incheon, Korea and thermals would suffice I guess. The leopard scarf, navy snood, suede gloves and suede ankle boots. Jeans are a staple, have around three long sleeve chambray shirts, these will also be staples with Uniqlo Heattech underwear.

Anyway, is this work related? I’ll be burning jet fuel and increasing my carbon emissions. But travelling south to north won’t provide any jet lag, I hoe. I have already filed for my vacation leave as early as June.  Will there be significant changes when I return?

I hope so, work is piling up but satisfaction is declining. I need a new challenge. I need  a new break. Be wary of your enemies, but be thankful for your friends.