The 4th European Union (EU)-Philippines Energy Meeting was held on October 7 with the theme “Electricity for a Better Life”.
The meeting provided a platform for discussions on how to further move energy goals forward, particularly in maximising renewable energy towards achieving 90-percent household electrification and how to improve energy efficiency.
Last year, the EU has allocated P3-billion grant for the Access to Sustainable Energy Programme (ASEP) which supports the Department of Energy’s electrification target through policy reforms, supporting existing electrification programmes and the deployment of renewable energy technologies and innovative energy solutions for the poor.
The ASEP programme aims to: provide clean energy solutions to 100,000 households or roughly 500,000 people; add 20 megawatts of additional renewable energy projects; and improve energy efficiency and generate savings of greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to a power plant of 50 megawatts. It was launched on the occasion of the said meeting.
Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi said 89.6-percent of the country has been electrified, but the remaining areas, mostly in Mindanao, pose the greatest challenge because they are the farthest and so cannot be cost-efficiently connected to the grid.
“We must make sure energy is available and accessible to those who need it,” Secretary Cusi said adding that the government is eyeing 100-percent electrification to realise inclusive development with Mindanao as a key focus for electrification.
EU Ambassador to the Philippines Franz Jessen said with a total of nearly P6-billion of cooperation budget still available for energy cooperation, the EU stands ready to explore how we could put energy efficiency first in a next phase of cooperation,” Ambassador Jessen said.