40,500 Solar Home Systems to be Bid in Philippines to Power Off-Grid Communities

PV mainstream system to provide electricity to 5,000 households


Solar Home Systems are helping to bring electricity to thousands of homes in off-grid communities in Mindanao, the second largest island in the Philippines.

According to the National Electrification Administration (NEA) in the Philippines, a photovoltaic (PV) mainstream system for 5,000 households is likely to be complete by June 2018.The system will provide coverage to the areas of Cotabato Electric Cooperative (Cotelco) and South Cotabato II Electric Cooperative (Socoteco II).

The PV Mainstreaming system is an initiative of the Department of Energy (DOE) and is funded by the European Union – Access to Sustainable Energy Program (EU-ASEP) through the World Bank. The NEA, which has supervision over all of the electric cooperatives across the country, is the implementing agency. The bidders could be local or international firms.

The project is divided into two bidding windows and will lead to the installation of 40,500 solar home systems. Window 1 involves 10,000 units and Window 2 involves 30,500 units. The procurement process for both bidding windows is currently being finalized.

By 2030, the Philippines aims to reduce its carbon emissions by 70 percent. Off-grid solar solutions are inevitably going to be an important part of the country’s energy growth trajectory.

In January 2018, Mercom reported off-grid solar solutions have benefitted approximately 360 million people across the globe, according to a report by the World Bank Group’s Lighting Global Program, Dalberg Advisors, and the Global Off-Grid Lighting Association (GOGLA).

Off-grid solar has a bright future in poor and underdeveloped parts of the world, while funding toward these emerging markets has also witnessed a significant increase over the years.

According to Mercom’s Solar Funding Tracker, the global off-grid solar market saw deals worth $98 million in 2015. Approximately $143 million were raised in 2016, while the sector witnessed exponential growth in 2017, bringing in a whopping $238 million. Moreover, $245 million were raised during the first quarter (Q1) of 2018.

In December 2017, the first green bond launched by a commercial bank in the Philippines attracted a $150-million (~₹9.65 trillion) investment from a World Bank Group member. The International Finance Corporation (IFC) made the investment in a green bond issued by BDO Unibank, the largest bank in the Philippines, to expand financing for private sector investments that address climate change.

Image credit: NEA, Philippines