By Myrna M. Velasco
With an aid from the European Union (EU), the Department of Energy (DOE) is advancing the electrification of at least 100,000 households along off-grid areas, primarily in the Bangsamoro region.
The technology deployment for these off-grid energization program will be anchored on solar installations, according to Energy Undersecretary Felix William B. Fuentebella.
The preliminary switch-on ceremony on this undertaking, which is under the tutelage of the Access to Sustainable Energy Program (ASEP) of the European Union, had been carried out recently between DOE’s Fuentebella and EU Head of Development Cooperation Enrico Strampelli.
The initial 100 household-recipients of solar-underpinned electricity service are end-users in Sitio New Mabuhay in Barangay Little Baguio in the municipality of Malita, Davao Occidental.
The households’ electrification in Mindanao shall be part of the 60 million euros grant that the EU had extended to the Philippine government, to be funneled primarily to the intended energization program of off-grid areas.
On the technology front, such electrification initiatives must lean on “increasing the share of indigenous and renewable sources in the energy mix,” according to the energy department.
And on the wider spectrum, it stressed that such must expand “the access to electricity services in remote areas and populations and to pursue new energy efficiency strategies.”
It must be culled that on the sphere of energy access, it has been Mindanao grid and consumers that had been fledgling on this service gain – to the consternation even of President Rodrigo Duterte, hence, he has tasked the DOE to hasten the electrification of the remotest areas of the country.
As envisaged under the ASEP’s mainstreaming initiative on the deployment of solar photovoltaic (PV) technologies, the aim is to roll out as much as 40,500 solar home systems to targeted beneficiaries.
The solar home systems will be of 50-watt peak capacity each and will be installed in generally isolated or off-grid communities in various parts of Mindanao.