Energy is fundamental to economic growth and a catalyst for alleviating poverty in the Philippines, particularly in remote rural communities in Mindanao where about 60% of the population live below the poverty threshold. People remain poor because they are denied access to basic opportunities for development like electricity. The nation faces a major challenge of bringing electricity to more than three million homes. Roughly half of these are ideal candidates for renewable energy electrification because they cannot connect electricity economically from existing electricity grids.
The Alliance for Mindanao Off-Grid Renewable Energy (AMORE), an eleven-year project of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) in partnership with the Government of the Republic of the Philippines, through the Department of Energy and the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) and the private sector through former Mirant Philippines and SunPower, provides a sustainable approach to bringing electricity to these remote communities with clean and renewable energy. By end of 2013 AMORE aims to establish sustainable clean energy systems in at least 24,700 rural households in remote and conflict-affected communities in Western, Central and Southern Mindanao. This program will also contribute to peace and development initiatives in Mindanao by improving the quality of life in these communities.
Under the program, USAID supports strong community participation in designing and operating renewable energy systems. Activities build strong local technical and financial capacity to effectively collect user fee, maintain and expand renewable energy systems access in remote rural barangays.
U.S. firms former Mirant Philippines and SunPower Corporation, through their corporate social responsibility activities and the Philippine Department of Energy has procured renewable energy equipment for the project. USAID provides technical expertise and training for the installation, operation and maintenance of the systems.
The AMORE project has accomplished the following since 2002:
- Provided electricity to more than 13,000 households in 474 remote rural villages using solar photovoltaic cell and micro-hydro power systems.
- Installed more than 300 renewable energy powered street light and illuminated more than 140 community centers.
- Provided renewable energy systems to 224 schools enabling it to access distance education services and audio visual materials.
- More than 6,100 tons of carbon dioxide avoided due to the use of clean energy systems
- Organized 474 Barangay Renewable Energy and Community Development Associations (BRECDAs) that plan and manage the renewable energy systems in their communities.
- Strengthened the capability of the communities to operate, maintain and expand the renewable energy systems.
- Some 150 villages were provided potable water systems in partnership with other donor groups as part of the community development activities in AMORE villages.
- Established an Operations and Maintenance Fund (OMF) mechanism for each community. This serves as a system for the efficient collection of community funds on an on-going basis to cover expenses.
Cooperator: Winrock International, Inc.
Alliance for Mindanao Off-grid Renewable Energy (AMORE)
Laurie Navarro, Chief of Party
2401 Jollibee Plaza Bldg, F.Ortigas Jr. Road
Ortigas Center, Pasig City
Tel: (632) 687-9283 or 632 1233 Fax: (632) 631-2809