International clean energy mini-grids developers eager to invest in the Philippines
Potential foreign investors that recently participated in a business-to-business (B2B) matchmaking session in Manila expressed interest in partnering with local electric cooperatives to invest in clean energy mini-grid.
This was the result of a post-event survey conducted by the Alliance for Rural Electrification (ARE) that co-organised the first-ever Philippines Mini-grid Business-to-Business (B2B) Forum in Manila last September 19-21, 2018. The B2B forum was primarily organised by the Department of Energy (DOE) with the support of the European Union (EU). The Philippines National Electrification Administration (NEA) was also one of the supporting organisations.
Based on the survey results, fifty-five percent (55%) of foreign participants said they would or were very likely to invest in mini-grids in the Philippines.
More than 280 technology providers, project developers and investors from Asia, Europe and North America took part in the Philippines Mini-grid Business-to-Business (B2B) Forum in Manila from 19 to 21 September 2018. The Forum was staged to provide participants a platform to partner with electric cooperatives in bringing electricity to rural communities by building clean renewable energy mini-grids.
Over 100 participants entered into more than 185 direct personal meetings on the final B2B Matchmaking day, with almost 90 meetings leading to cooperation.
Among the Forum participants were 60 representatives of the government and public sector, such as the National Electrification Administration (NEA), National Power Corporation and the Energy Regulatory Commission, 50 from electric cooperatives in the Philippines and 25 investors.
Speaking on behalf of Energy Secretary Alfonso G. Cusi, DOE Senior Undersecretary Jesus Posadas said the Forum, which was facilitated by the DOE-EU Access to Sustainable Energy Programme (ASEP), was a good opportunity to link investors, electric cooperatives, and other stakeholders to scale-up of electrification using sustainable and clean energy to foster economic development.
“The B2B Forum is timely as the Government of Philippines is targeting 100% electrification by 2020 using the least-costly and reliable energy technologies for the many unserved and underserved island grids in the country.” Jesus Posadas said.
The recent DOE Department Circular released in August 2018 establishes the guidelines and rules on the Renewable Portfolio Standards for Off-Grid Areas in the Philippines.
“The Department Circular mandates power suppliers to source a percentage of the energy supply from sustainable and renewable energy resources and technologies.” Jesus Posadas said.
With 1,702 potential off-grid sites in the Philippines, Ernesto Silvano, Jr., Director of the Office for Renewable Energy Development of the NEA affirmed the value the B2B Forum for the 121 electric cooperatives in the country which have to face up to the challenge of electrifying the Philippines by 2020.
“The B2B Forum is a useful platform for electric cooperatives in the Philippines to meet mini-grid technology providers. Half of our electric cooperatives have already been engaging in similar B2B events since the beginning of 2018, and since then three projects have been completed and two are in the pipeline.” Ernesto Silvano, Jr. said.
Katarina Hasbani, Vice-President of the Alliance for Rural Electrification (ARE), explained that the B2B Forum was a place where companies including ARE Members can meet with electric cooperatives and local Filipino companies to identify and facilitate new off-grid projects.
“ARE Members are interested to deploy their technology and projects in the Philippines. They have the industry expertise, technology know-how and project implementation experience. ARE Members do not just bring electricity, but they also create revenue generation for local communities.” Katarina Hasbani concluded.