March 21, 2024

Hybridization of Off-Grid Areas Projected to Significantly Reduce Power Costs for Island and Off-Grid Consumers in the Philippines

Hybridization of Off-Grid Areas Projected to Significantly Reduce Power Costs for Island and Off-Grid Consumers in the Philippines

Picture of Nian Sayoc, Associate

Nian Sayoc, Associate

Picture of Ivan Galura, Senior Associate

Ivan Galura, Senior Associate

Picture of Nian Sayoc, Associate

Nian Sayoc, Associate

Picture of Ivan Galura, Senior Associate

Ivan Galura, Senior Associate

21 March 2024, Manila, Philippines – A consortium led by Climate Smart Ventures (CSV), comprised of the Center for Empowerment, Innovation, and Training on Renewable Energy (CentRE), the Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities (ICSC), Mott MacDonald, and supported by Tara Climate Foundation, held an event “Public Launch of the Grid Modernization and Hybridization Guidebook for Off-Grid Electric Cooperatives (ECs)on March 15 at the Crowne Plaza Manila Galleria. The event provided key highlights from the guidebook and results of CSV’s discussions with stakeholders.

The guidebook was developed as part of a three-year project being undertaken by the consortium to help facilitate the modernization of electric cooperatives’ respective grids, with a focus on off-grid areas.  The guidebook also provides insights on global trends in technology and financing to help expand in-house EC expertise and capabilities. A key message of the report is that hybridization of off-grid areas can significantly reduce power costs for island and off-grid consumers in the Philippines. The project has been undertaken in consultation with the National Electrification Administration and Department of Energy.

Please find the guidebook summary and event presentation here and the full guidebook here.

Distinguished speakers from the event included the following:

  • Monalisa Dimalanta, Chairperson and CEO, Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC)
  • Maris Cardenas, Executive Director, Center for Empowerment, Innovation, and Training on Renewable Energy (CentRE)
  • Rene Fajilagutan, General Manager, Association of Isolated Electric Cooperatives President and Romblon Electric Cooperative (ROMELCO)
  • Gaspar Escobar, Grid Modernization Advisor, Institute for Climate and Sustainable Studies (ICSC)
  • Grace Yeneza, Managing Director, Preferred Energy Incorporated
  • Congressman Sergio Dagooc, Representative to the Philippine House of Representatives of the Association of Philippine Electric Cooperatives

In her welcome remarks and message from the public sector, Atty. Monalisa Dimalanta shared that the Energy Regulatory Commission will roll-out a series of simultaneous public hearings to be held in the country’s various off-grid islands to revisit and review the subsidized rates. Through the hearings, the ERC intends to send a clear message that the government is pursuing genuine and sustainable growth given how important the issue of subsidies is to both off-grid and main grid consumers.

Ms. Maris Cardenas, Executive Director of CentRE, encouraged ECs to use their significant numbers to decarbonize and shift the power sources of island grids to cleaner energy. Association of Isolated Electric Cooperatives President and ROMELCO General Manager Engr. Rene Fajilagutan highlighted that the main driving force for ROMELCO to develop its renewable energy sources was consumer demand for lower costs of power.

Engr. Gaspar Escobar, Grid Modernization Advisor of the Institute for Climate and Sustainable Studies emphasized the need to diversify the energy sources of off-grid ECs given their heavy reliance on imported diesel, which can be vulnerable to geopolitical instability. Ms. Grace Yeneza, Managing Director of Preferred Energy Incorporated pointed out that there are already a number of policies that enable the hybridization of off-grid areas, and it may be time for policymakers to revisit some of these to ensure proper implementation.

In his closing remarks, Congressman Sergio Dagooc, Representative to the Philippine House of Representatives of the Association of Philippine Electric Cooperatives, congratulated Climate Smart Ventures for launching the guidebook and undertaking the project, adding that it will further encourage ECs and stakeholders to venture into hybridizing and modernizing their off-grid distribution systems.

“This project builds on momentum generated by the Department of Energy leadership towards a more ambitious climate goal and complements the government’s work in transitioning the Philippines towards cleaner sources of energy. It also helps ensure that our off-grid islands are not left behind and are given access to more affordable, reliable, and cleaner electricity,” said Lawrence Ang, Managing Partner of Climate Smart Ventures.

**About Climate Smart Ventures**

Climate Smart Ventures (CSV) is an advisory firm advancing the energy transition in Asia. Our expertise and projects span coal to clean utility-level energy transition, industrial decarbonization, grid transformation, transition finance, and government-level policy recommendations. We also provide ESG and sustainability advisory services, focused on decarbonization and management of environmental and social impacts. Ecosystem building and collaboration are key elements of our firm, which partners closely with the region’s leading corporates and power portfolio owners, investors, off-takers, and others. For more information, visit our website https://climatesmartventures.com.

For media inquiries, please contact:

Ivan Galura

Email: ivan@climatesmartventures.com

+63 998 992 6856