Manila, 18 September 2018 - More than 200 foreign and local investors and electric cooperatives are attending the Philippines Mini-grid Business-to-Business (B2B) Forum in Manila from 19 to 21 September 2018. 

The Department of Energy (DOE) and the Alliance for Rural Electrification (ARE) with the support of the European Union (EU) and the Philippine National Electrification Administration (NEA) are organising the forum in line with the objectives of the United Nations'  "Sustainable Energy for All" initiative.

The Forum is being staged to identify opportunities for investment in renewable energy (RE) mini-grids, share knowledge on innovative technical solutions and link key local electric cooperatives with international mini-grid experts and potential financiers.

Among the forum participants are 50 representatives of the government and public sector, such as the National Electrification Administration, National Power Corporation and the Energy Regulatory Commission, and 50 from electric cooperatives in the Philippines. 

Over 200 local and international players in the off-grid electrification sector, including technology providers, project developers and at least 16 investors also will be attending the talks. About 80 percent of participants are expected to come from Asia and 20 percent from Europe, US and Australia.

Energy Secretary Alfonso G. Cusi said the Forum, which is made through the DOE-EU Access to Sustainable Energy Programme (ASEP), is a good opportunity for the Department of Energy to update participants about government plans to increase power supply and the share of RE in the Philippines. 

“We will discuss current policies, regulations and procedures for participation of the private companies in the Philippines mini-grid sector," Sec. Cusi said.

With more than 7,000 islands and around 400 megawatts of diesel generating capacity installed in over 320 off-grid missionary areas, the Philippines offers tremendous potential for the implementation of new clean energy mini-grids and for the hybridisation of existing island diesel mini-grids or power plants.

The Philippines Mini-grid B2B Forum will open a window for Philippine electric cooperatives, private sector and international mini-grid companies to join forces. 

"In line with the ASEP objectives, we are optimistic that such partnerships will assist the Government in its objective to expand sustainable energy generation and increase the power supply for remote communities in the Philippines,” said Dr. Ernesto Terrado, Key Expert-Rural Electrification-ASEP.

Marcus Wiemann, Executive Director of Alliance for Rural Electrification, stressed that mini-grids are stimulators for rural development. 

“We are delighted that the Philippines is working to connect its rural population through clean energy mini-grids and as the voice of the off-grid private sector. ARE Members with their long-standing experiences in this field can help fill this gap,” he said.v