Total electrification by 2028 to require funding of P71.97B — Energy dep’t

THE Department of Energy (DoE) said its various programs aimed at achieving total electrification by 2028 would require funding of P71.97 billion.

In its 2023-2032 National Total Electrification Roadmap (NTER), the DoE said programs such as the stand-alone home system (SAHS) would need P35.818 billion.

SAHS taps renewable energy (RE) coupled with batteries in hard-to-reach areas considered unviable for distribution line connection or microgrid systems.

Distribution line extension will require P35.23 billion, microgrid systems P347.82 million, and household electrification via regular connection P243.98 million.

Of the funding, 96.15% will be allocated to the National Electrification Administration (NEA) to support its Sitio Electrification Program, Barangay Line Enhancement Program, and Photovoltaic Mainstreaming projects.

“Electrification primarily entails providing electricity access to remote and rural areas, often located far from existing urban infrastructure. Notably, a large portion of households without electricity can be found in these remote rural areas, contributing to the country’s poverty challenges,” the DoE said.

It said funding sources include its Total Electrification Program as authorized by Energy Regulations (ER) No. 1-94, as well as NEA programs and the Missionary Electrification Plan of the National Power Corp. (NPC).

ER 1-94 authorizes payments to communities hosting energy sources and energy generating facilities.

As of June, the DoE said household electrification was 91.1% with 25.3 million households served, against the estimated potential households of 27.727 million implied in the 2020 Census of Population and Housing. For the rest of 2023, the estimated unserved households total 2.454 million.

By 2028, households are expected to number 29.475 million.

The DoE said that it has identified 285 unserved areas and 122 underserved areas in off-grid locations will be prioritized for tender to private sector investments through a competitive selection process (CSP).

According to Republic Act No. 11646 or the Microgrid Systems Act, the DoE is required to conduct a CSP for micro grid system providers (MGSP) to serve off-grid areas. The initial auction is expected to be conducted within the fourth quarter while the awarding is targeted by the first quarter of 2024.

The bidding will cover 98 unserved and underserved areas clustered into 49 lots. Some 15,645 households are expected to benefit from the initial auction.

“If there are no participants or no awarded MGSP in the CSP for a particular DoE-declared unserved or underserved area, the NPC shall continue to perform its missionary electrification mandate in the underserved area, considering its AHP (Accelerated Hybridization Project),” the DoE said.

AHP, which utilizes RE sources and technology, allows the private sector to enter off-grid areas and put up RE generation plants or facilities to supplement, augment, or replace the existing capacities of the Small Power Utilities Group’s diesel power plants. — Sheldeen Joy Talavera

Neil Banzuelo

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