The Philippines has a population of over 100 million. Till December 2019, there was about 1.8 million households across the country living without electricity. Most of the off-grid households are located in small islands of Visayas and far-flung mountainous villages of Mindanao. President Rodrigo Duterte started to push for the “rural electrification strategy” ambitiously in 2016, and the objective is to fulfill the “total national electrification” within his presidency till 2022.
In 2019, European Union has funded 7 projects in the central and southern part of Philippines to promote the use of renewable energy. In this batch of projects, most of the organizations who received EU funds are NGOs. Some of the 7 projects are in line with the “rural electrification program” of Department of Energy.
Mahintana Foundation Inc. is a NGO based in Polomolok City, Mindanao. MFI serves mostly the people in nearby provinces. With the EU fund, MFI initiated the “Strengthening Off-grid Lighting with Appropriate Renewable Energy Solutions (SOLARES) Project”. SOLARES Project aims to install 6,000 sets of Prepaid Solar Home System in the franchised areas of South Cotabato II Electric Cooperative, Inc. (SOCOTECO II) and Sultan Kudarat Electric Cooperative, Inc. (SUKELCO). These two ECs are also the beneficiary ECs in the World Bank ASEP Window One Project. SINOSOAR had supplied and installed 5,000 sets of Prepaid Solar Home System for these two ECs in 2018. SOLARES Project is a negotiated project between SINOSOAR and MFI to extend the solar network of the two ECs. The project will enable the two ECs to rank top among the nationwide 121 ECs which electrify off-grid population with prepaid solar home systems.
- The project could supply stable power for the people living in off-grid areas of Philippines, and it solves the basic power demand of the people in these areas;
- The project provided sustainable, safe and environmentally friendly electrical equipment;
- The project had solved largely the unemployment problems in the off-grid areas of the Philippines;
- The project had brought up local photovoltaic technology talents through professional training to them;
- The project is managed with off-grid prepayment system, which will bring sustainable incomes to the local electricity companies;
- The functions of the prepayment products had been improved and upgraded to accommodate the local environment and service better the end users;
- The provides a perfect power solution for the remote areas of the Philippines to realize the national electrification in the near future, and it will stimulate the implementation of a large number of similar projects.