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ACCESS TO SUSTAINABLE ENERGY PROGRAMME

The European Union supports the Philippines in the attainment of

• Total electrification

• Renewable energy

• Energy security

• Energy efficiency

 

The Access to Sustainable Energy Programme or ASEP is a joint undertaking of the European Union and the Philippine Department of Energy (DOE). Through ASEP, the EU has allocated a grant of over PhP 3 billion to assist the Government of the Philippines to meet its rural electrification targets by means of renewable energy, and to promote energy efficiency.

As a focal sector for EU development cooperation with the Philippines, the EU has earmarked a total of EUR 190 million out of an overall cooperation budget of EUR 325 million to the energy sector for the period 2014-2020.

OBJECTIVES

The overall objective of ASEP is to assist the Government of the Philippines in expanding its sustainable
energy generation to meet the growing needs of its economy, and provide energy access to the poor
and marginalized sector in accordance with the Philippine Development Plan.

Specific Objectives

PROGRAMME COMPONENTS

The implementation of ASEP will be carried out through its three complementary components:

Maximum EUR 7.3 million funding assistance

The TA component aims to provide advice on policy and strategy, develop planning tools and business models, and provide targeted support to the implementation of the investment components. It functions as the ASEP Secretariat and directly supports the Department of Energy (DOE) in its role as program manager for the Government.

Specifically, it shall assist the DOE and concerned energy sector stakeholders to resolve regulatory and administrative issues that hinder the government from attaining its electrification targets and from achieving a sustainable electricity market.

The TA includes capacity-building initiatives to strengthen the DOE – EPIMB (Electric Power Industry Management Bureau) in its implementation of total electrification, enhanced power sector management, and support to renewable energy and energy efficiency programs.

Another unique feature of the TA is the provision of tools for evidence-based decision-making. This will allow stakeholders, like electric cooperatives, to arrive at more accurate decisions using hard, empirical findings. Using modern applications, basic but crucial data (i.e. the exact population of a barangay, the ideal site for a power plant, and similar information) will be gathered and shared with the DOE, the electric cooperatives, and other stakeholders. These tools will enable them to choose the best possible electrification option for marginalized communities.

With the looming threat of climate change, power generation has to be not only reliable, but also resilient. The ASEP TA addresses this need by supporting yet another innovation, which is the use of disaster-resilient energy solutions in areas that are prone to natural calamities like typhoons and earthquakes. These solutions will be incorporated in all ASEP renewable energy installations.

Maximum EUR 29 million funding assistance

This component involves a trust fund sponsored largely from EU grants and managed by the World Bank. The funding support may be used for projects that are specifically designed to enhance the capacity of Electric Cooperatives (ECs) to implement the rural electrification objective and promote RE-based energy systems, such as the DOE’s PV Mainstreaming Program.

PV Mainstreaming aims at installing Solar Home Systems (SHS) in off grid areas by 2017, but largely relies on investment from donors.  The proposal is for the EU to co-finance 30 – 50 Wp SHS over 2016 and 2017, to be owned and maintained by the Electric Cooperatives. Further contributions will come from the GPOBA (Global Partnership on Output Based Aid), government budget and from the end-users of the SHS. The SHS will in most cases replace polluting and unsafe kerosene lamps. Payment to ECs will be output based.

Maximum EUR 21 million funding assistance

As part of ASEP, the EU will administer call for proposals from ECs, private sector, social enterprises, micro-finance institutions, NGOs or civil society organizations and international donors. This component will co-finance (up to 80%) innovative solutions and sustainable business models for providing access to electricity in remote households. The purpose is to complement the selected TA studies and World Bank (WB) managed projects with fresh ideas from other sources.

Specifically, the Call for Proposals supports energy investments in demanding applications like hybridization with income-generating emphasis; basic supply models for poor and disadvantaged areas; electrification for livelihood generation through the Solar Home System (SHS) in the Bangsamoro areas; support to mini-grids; and capacity building and advocacy on rural electrification, energy efficiency measures and renewable energy management. The DOE will be involved in the selection of qualified organizations under the Call for Proposals.

ELECTRICITY FOR A BETTER LIFE

Most of us take electricity for granted, as it makes our day-to-day lives comfortable and convenient. We start our typical day by turning on the lights in the house and maybe brewing some Colombian roast in a coffeemaker. We work at computers in well-lit and air-conditioned offices, and relax at night by watching television or using other modern entertainment facilities.

But imagine the stark contrast in remote, unenergized villages, where Filipinos still dream of having basic electricity to light up their homes at night. The provision of sustainable electricity can certainly open up a myriad of opportunities for improving the lives of Filipinos living in remote, rural areas.

 

For schoolchildren for example, having electricity means they can now do their homework by the light of an LED lamp. For adults, electricity represents employment opportunities, and the option to stay put in one’s hometown because there is work to be had there. Having electricity means having a sense of security, and being able to safely walk the streets at night. Electricity means connectivity. With the rise of social media, a simple internet connection made possible by electricity enables the rural folks to get in touch with the rest of the world. More importantly, electricity enables these folks to reach out to loved ones – family and friends from as near as the next barangay (village) to as far as across the globe. It allows them to keep abreast with what is happening around the country and the world, and to learn and discover new and exciting things.

The EU believes in the power of electricity to attain a better life for many of our Filipinos in remote, rural households that are still left in the dark. Through the cooperation efforts under the EU – Philippines Access to Sustainable Energy Programme or ASEP, these unelectrified rural households can look forward to a bright tomorrow.

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