RenewableEnergy: Empowering 4,000 FilipinoFamilies

May 22, 2012

Upscaling community-based renewable energy systems

Establishing community-based renewable energy systems (CBRES) has been one of SIBAT's main work since 1995 when the first community-based microhydro project was built together with the local NGO partner - Montañosa Research & Devt Center in Brgy. Ngibat, Tinglayan in Kalinga province.
Since then, SIBAT has helped establish 40 community-based renewable energy systems (30 micro-hydro, 6 solar and 4 wind systems) together with local partners in various parts of the country (please see attached list of projects).  
As of now, the main work done by SIBAT to help communities establish CBRES projects in their community are 
[1] power enterprise development; [2] improvement and consolidation of running projects; [3] pre-feasibility study development; and [4] strengthening of CBRES institutional capabilities. 
Reviewing and evaluating its current CBRES sites became the major thrust of the program guided by the goal of assessing its gains and enriching its ground experience.  Partner POs, NGOs, faith-based groups and the academe have been strongly engaged to collaborate on appropriate monitoring processes and determining a proper modality for CBRES development.  
Presently, the following are the accomplishments of SIBAT in enhancing and improving work in establishing community-based renewable energy systems (microhydro-MHP, solar water pumping and wind turbine-solar hybrid water pumping projects) in the Philippines.
  • At the community level, 75% CBRES projects have been revisited, monitored forging renewed ties and strong commitment to collaborate on proposals for technical upgrade, peoples' organization (PO) strengthening, capacity building and possible enterprises development.  This was achieved using new and improved technical monitoring and PO appraisal tools – also, using gender parameters) that resulted in a clearer and continuing plan for CBRES project partnership and community development.  Project local partners such as NGOs, POs and church-based institutions or groups have been reengaged with the end-view of further developing partnerships for CBRES.
  • A programmatic approach towards implementing the set activities was adopted by the Renewable Energy (RE) unit.  Stemming from a series of unit review and workshops with the end-view of developing a correct strategy at CBRES building, the unit devised a process of engaging firstly CBRES partner communities to participatory organizational assessments (historical transects or SWOT) to determine a correct profile of the organization and then build an intervention plan from there.  Nine (9) sites covering 3 focal technologies (MHP, photovoltaic-PV and small wind turbine -SWT) have been pre-selected for this exercise.
  • The succeeding process of module preparation, engaging assistance and expertise from the academe, and trainers pool building and actual conduct of trainings will proceed systematically according to CBRES technology type and by regional clusters
  • The pre-feasibilty study (PFS) and Feasibility Study (FS) developed for the period were still driven by requests covering 3 focal RE technologies such as micro-hydro, PV solar and small wind systems.  Two sites in Kalinga - Batong buhay and Gawaan requested SIBAT’s technical assistance through PFS of their hydro resource.  Because of security problems, only the Gawaan PFS and eventually FS were conducted.  
  • For the SWT, only the Buli-Libis hybrid systems of 1 kW SWT and solar PV for level upgrade of water pumping system progressed into full FS with funding counterpart from the Lubang LGU.  Full FS for the Biri SWT and Calbiga MHP development require bigger fund requirement and has to be deferred.  
  • Discussions and peer review on SIBAT quality standards for specific CBRES technologies specifically MHP, SWT and PV systems have been targeted by the unit within the year. 
  • Major focus meanwhile was devoted on the task of integrating socio-economic and gender elements on the range and set of CBRES tools and modules involved at every stage of the CBRES project development cycle.  These tools - from community orientation, PFS and FS surveys, project monitoring, etc., have  been subjected to team review, piloting, critiquing and revision to include a gender lens.  The final set of instruments and tools are still being prepared and packaged with accompanying manual or briefing kit for the unit staff. 
  • MIS development for the CBRES unit and projects has been piloted in select CBRES sites.  Tied up to the peer review and revision activity, new tools and better approaches are being developed and made available.
  • Advocacy work has likewise gained primacy this year embarking on internal study and discussions with allied agencies on fundamental issues such as Philippine RE law and EPIRA and how these impact closely to SIBAT’s current work.  Following this is the on-going ‘state-of-the-art’ research of various agencies implementing CBRES with the aim of bringing the results to a bigger forum in aid of legislation.

In short, much work needs to be done and all these needs resources that will help us in providing clean energy access for rural poor communities, thereby helping them with opportunities for livelihood and better quality of life.

Thank you very much for all the support that we have received so far, and hope that this will be a sustainable partnership with all of you!


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Project Leader

Florinda Concepcion

Quezon, Metro Manila Philippines

Where is this project located?

Map of RenewableEnergy: Empowering 4,000 FilipinoFamilies