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Press release: EU, PH to power small businesses in off-grid areas with solar energy

The European Union and the Philippine Department of Energy (DOE) are cooperating to spur economic growth in remote areas of the country that cannot be connected to the power grid, by using stand-alone solar energy to power small businesses.
Renewable energy experts presented technical and business models for the design of small solar-powered businesses to energy agencies, potential private investors, and implementers of small community-based development projects, at a symposium on March 2 in Taguig.
National Economic and Development Administration (NEDA) Secretary Ernesto Pernia keynoted the event. DOE Senior Undersecretary Jesus Cristino Posadas and Director General Stefano Manservisi of the European Commission’s Directorate General for International Cooperation and Development (DEVCO) delivered the Opening Remarks.
The solar power options for small businesses are based on a feasibility study conducted late last year in three off-grid communities in Davao and Bohol by the EU-supported Access to Sustainable Energy Programme (ASEP), in cooperation with the National Electrification Administration and the electric cooperatives in the two provinces.
The study demonstrates business models, financing schemes, and community-based implementation mechanisms on the use of renewable energy for business and livelihood opportunities. Ways to address the challenges identified in the study were also discussed at the symposium.
The solar-powered small businesses will be piloted also in Davao and Bohol, before being replicated in other off-grid sites throughout the country.
The use of solar energy to power small businesses under ASEP supports the thrust of the Philippine government towards inclusive development and supplements traditional basic electrification programs that only address lighting needs of households.
Through a grant of over PHP 3 billion under ASEP, the EU is supporting the DOE in meeting its rural electrification targets by means of renewable energy, and in promoting energy efficiency.
Energy is a focal sector for EU development cooperation with the Philippines, with EUR 190 million out of an overall cooperation budget of EUR 325 million earmarked by the EU for the sector for 2014-2020.
ASEP is being implemented by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH, ICF International, the Reiner Lemoine Institut, and the World Bank. ###

Contact: Jo Mangila-Tioseco
Energy Efficiency Strategy Expert, ASEP TA
0918 930 0125
Thelma Gecolea
Public Affairs Officer
EU Delegation to the Philippines
Phone 8595124



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