EU Provides €60 Million Grant to the Philippines to Install Solar Home Systems

The European Union (EU) has provided an approximate grant of €60 million (~$68.54 million) to the Philippine government to help the country increase access to electricity services in its off-grid communities.

This would increase the country’s share of renewables in its energy mix and also help in implementing new energy efficiency strategies.

The initiative is being implemented through the Access to Sustainable Energy Program (ASEP) and is supported by the United States Department of Energy (DOE). It will benefit roughly 100,000 households, especially in the remote areas of Bangsamoro region.

Under the ASEP’s program, about 40,500 solar home systems will be installed in remote off-grid communities in various provinces in Mindanao. These home systems will have each a peak capacity of 50 watt. Mercom had reported previously that these solar home systems would be bid in May 2018.

The installation of solar home systems has already been completed in Sitio New Mabuhay, Barangay Little Baguio in the Municipality of Malita, and Davao Occidental.

“Rest assured, the DOE and our partners-stakeholders will continue to explore more projects that will benefit our brothers and sisters in remote areas through innovative solutions,” said DOE Secretary Alfonso G. Cusi in a press statement.

ASEP, a sustainable energy program, was launched in the Philippines back in 2016. The mandate of the program is to support the government in its efforts to increase access to electricity, integrate renewable energies on and off grid, and promote energy efficiency.

Other than EU and DOE, the National Electrification Administration, Energy Regulatory Commission, National Power Corporation, electric cooperatives and local governments are the key stakeholders of ASEP.

In June, the International Financial Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank group, issued its first internationally rated triple-A peso-denominated green bond which is equivalent to $90 million.  According to IFC, Mabuhay Bond will be the first green bond, denominated in Philippine pesos, to be issued by a multilateral development institution.

In January 2018, Mercom reported off-grid solar solutions have benefitted approximately 360 million people across the globe, according to a report by the World Bank Group’s Lighting Global Program, Dalberg Advisors, and the Global Off-Grid Lighting Association (GOGLA).

Off-grid solar has a bright future in poor and underdeveloped parts of the world, while funding toward these emerging markets has also witnessed a significant increase over the years.

According to a recent report by GOGLA, 3.7 million off-grid solar products were sold globally during the first half of 2018, an increase of four percent in comparison to the same time last year.

Nitin is a staff reporter at Mercomindia.com and writes on renewable energy and related sectors. Prior to Mercom, Nitin has worked for CNN IBN, India News, Agricultural Spectrum and Bureaucracy Today. He received his bachelor’s degree in Journalism & Communication from Manipal Institute of Communication at Manipal University and Master’s degree in International Relations from Jindal School of International Affairs. More articles from Nitin Kabeer