29 September 2017 | Manila, Philippines
Filipino households can look forward better to access basic electricity services with the government’s thrust towards total electrification.
This was stressed by Energy Secretary Alfonso G. Cusi as he received Thursday (28 September) a study conducted by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) during the concluding ceremonies of the 35th ASEAN Ministers on Energy Meeting (AMEM35) at Conrad Manila, Pasay City.
The study is entitled “Accelerating the Deployment of Renewable Energy Mini-Grids for Off-Grid Electrification- A Study on the Philippines”.
Cusi said, “The IRENA study supports the country’s total electrification goal for Filipino families to enjoy equal opportunity to access basic electricity services.”
“Electrification of households, particularly n the rural areas, remains a big challenge for us. Thus, we have to take advantage of this study to bridge the residual gaps in our electrification efforts,” the Energy Chief emphasized.
The study explored the issues and barriers to the implementation of mini-grids through a comprehensive review of government legislation and programs and select international studies.
The study entailed a documentary review, focus group discussions and field studies in four sites, which resulted in several key recommendations to accelerate the deployment of energy mini-grids via RE and other emerging technologies for off-grid electrification in the Philippines.
The study came up with five key recommendations:
(1) define roles and responsibilities to remove overlapping roles, functions and accountabilities to acknowledge stakeholders’ roles and to define private-sector boundaries;
(2) undertake comprehensive and strategic planning for total electrification, missionary electrification development, stronger coordination among relevant agencies, grid and off-grid development efforts, and resource utilization, especially renewable energy;
(3) establish a clear policy approach for mini-grids to introduce a graduation policy for the universal charge for missionary electrification entitlement;
(4) revise regulatory approach for mini-grid projects to remove existing barriers and facilitate smooth entry in the market by streamlining processes, updating procurement rules, and improving tariff determination procedures and
(5) increase project development and execution support for more accessible financing, and promotion and understanding of renewable energy by all stakeholders.
IRENA is an intergovernmental organization that supports countries in their transition to a sustainable energy future, and serves as the principal platform for international co-operation, a center of excellence, and a repository of policy, technology, resource and financial knowledge on renewable energy.
The international agency also promotes the widespread adoption and sustainable use of all forms of renewable energy, including bioenergy, geothermal, hydropower, ocean, solar and wind energy, in the pursuit of sustainable development, energy access, energy security and low-carbon economic growth and prosperity.