EU-Philippines Access to Sustainable Energy Programme (ASEP) - Technical Assistance

Project description

Title: Access to Sustainable Energy Programme (ASEP)
Commisioned by: European Union
Financier: European Union
Country: Philippines
Lead executing agency: Philippine Department of Energy
Overall term: 2016 to 2019

Context

Despite the impressive economic growth of the Philippines in recent years, the country continues to face the challenge of meeting the energy demand of a fast-growing economy in urban areas and at the same time needs to expand access to energy for the poor population in remote and dispersed off-grid areas. The main concerns in the Philippine energy sector are:

  • Securing sustainable energy supplies for a fast-growing economy;
  • Increasing energy efficiency to generate electricity savings; and
  • Expanding access to electrification in underserved areas and households.

Objective

The Government of the Philippines is working on the following energy objectives: 1) meeting its rural electrification targets by means of renewable energy; 2) promoting energy efficiency; 3) expanding its sustainable energy generation to meet the growing needs of its economy; and 4) providing energy access for the poor through affordable, disaster-resilient energy systems.

Approach

GIZ International Services implements the programme component ASEP Technical Assistance (TA) and Capacity Building for Reform together with the consortium partners ICF International and Reiner Lemoine Institute. The programme supports the Philippine Department of Energy (DOE) in its role as the manager of the country’s energy programme. ASEP aims to provide advice on policy and strategy, to develop planning tools and business models, and to provide targeted support in the process of implementing investment components. ASEP assists the DOE and stakeholders in the energy sector to resolve regulatory and administrative issues that hinder the government in attaining its electrification targets and from establishing a sustainable electricity market.

The TA component includes capacity-building initiatives to strengthen the Department of Energy (DOE) in its implementation of total electrification of the Philippines, enhanced power sector management, and support for renewable energy and energy efficiency programmes.

Another unique feature of the TA is the provision of tools for evidence-based decision-making. This will allow stakeholders, like electric cooperatives, to arrive at more accurate decisions using hard, empirical findings. Moreover, these tools will enable them to choose the best possible electrification option for marginalised communities.

With the looming threat of climate change, power generation needs to be reliable and resilient. The ASEP TA addresses this need by supporting the use of disaster-resilient energy solutions in areas prone to natural calamities like typhoons and earthquakes. These solutions will be incorporated in all ASEP renewable energy solutions.

Results

In September 2016, the ASEP Inception Report, which defined the overall work plan of the programme, was formally approved by a Project Steering Committee co-chaired by the EU Delegation and the DOE. Approximately at the same time, GIZ International Services had already put in place a small Technical Assistance (TA) team at the DOE, consisting of 2 Key Experts and Non-Key Experts supported by core administrative staff. The team's location enabled it to interact closely with the DOE in pursuing its main goal of assisting the DOE in achieving its target of a rate of electrification of 100 per cent of households by 2022 and to ensure a more efficient use of energy in all sectors, targeting the equivalent of avoided greenhouse gas emissions from a 50 MW coal-fired power plant. International and national experts in off-grid electrification, renewable energy, green buildings, domestic appliance standards and labelling have since been engaged by GIZ in the various TA activities and have made significant contributions.

As part of the initiative in evidence-based decision making, a systematic process for solar PV-diesel hybridization is being carried out by ASEP for over a hundred NPC-SPUG diesel installations all over the country, demonstrating best practices in optimisation and grid integration. An important product so far is an Excel-based planning tool that greatly simplifies the needed calculations, and avoids the need for expensive commercial software. About 50 members of technical staff of DOE, NEA and NPC participated in a training programme on hybridization and use of the Simplified Planning Tool in September 2017. 

The energy efficiency part of ASEP has actively pursued its agenda, first by having experts critically review the Philippine Energy Standard and Labelling Program (PESLP) with a focus on accelerating the implementation of energy performance standards and energy label requirements for domestic appliances with a high level of energy consumption, starting with refrigerators and room air conditioners. Public consultations were successfully held in June 2017 for this purpose. Currently, international and national experts have started to develop intensive programmes to promote energy efficient practices in governmental buildings and in the power sector in rural areas, focusing on diesel power plants.

Capacity building for DOE and other energy agencies remains central to the mission of ASEP-TA. A team of experts has designed a two-year programme of workshops and training in key areas of rural electrification and energy efficiency, which is now in the process of implementation. The capacity development activities of ASEP will also include close collaboration with the Secretariat of the DOE Projects Review Committee in order to contribute to strengthening the DOE capabilities to meet its reporting obligations towards the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA) as regards internationally funded projects.

Moreover, ASEP has also participated in high-profile and high-impact events that helped to increase stakeholder awareness on sustainable energy initiatives. Among these events were the PowerTrends 2017 as well as the ASEAN Energy Business Forum in September 2017, the Energy Smart Conference series in October 2017, and the Building Green activities in November 2017.

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