NEA signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Japanese firm Toshiba Energy Systems and Solutions Corp. to collaborate on the development of the self-sufficient hydrogen energy system.
Yoshikazu Tsuno/AFP
NEA taps Toshiba to pilot hydrogen power in off-grids
Danessa Rivera (The Philippine Star) - October 21, 2018 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The National Electrification Administration (NEA) has secured a partner to put up the country’s pilot self-sufficient hydrogen energy system in off-grid areas as part of its rural electrification initiatives.

NEA signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Japanese firm Toshiba Energy Systems and Solutions Corp. to collaborate on the development of the self-sufficient hydrogen energy system.

Under the MoU,  NEA and Toshiba will jointly explore the opportunity to construct H2One, an autonomous energy supply system that uses renewable energy to produce hydrogen and generate electricity, in one of the off-grid areas in the country.

The project includes grant funding from the Japanese government to conduct a feasibility study for the potential installation of the system in selected off-grid areas not connected to the main power grid covered by the electric cooperatives (ECs).

 “As the country grapples with the realities of rogue weather and climate change, and with clean energy offering a viable alternative to the long-depended upon fossil fuels in power generation, the advent of these technologies in energy development poses a potent regulation-compliant source of electricity for electric cooperatives and their member-consumer-owners,” NEA administrator Edgardo Masongsong said.

 “Piloting this technology here in the Philippines, in electric cooperative areas in the countryside, is a welcome development. I hope this pushes through in a larger scale here as ECs increasingly shift their energy mix from traditional energy sources to more sustainable modes of generation to supply their electricity-for-distribution requirements,” he said.

NEA Office of Renewable Energy and Development acting department manager Ernesto Silvano, Jr. said beneficiaries for the feasibility study would be chosen from a shortlist of off-grid areas or those belonging to the Small Power Utilities Group (SPUG).

 “The project’s main objective is to help in the power supply, increase the power supply in isolated areas, and serve the unenergized areas. This will help the ECs have their own renewable energy power source and not be dependent on fossil fuel anymore,” Silvano said.

Based on data from  NEA, there are 1,702 off-grid areas that are still without any access to electricity. These are located mainly in Mindanao with 1,003, followed by Visayas with 557, and Luzon with 142 off-grid areas.

Silvano said some off-grid areas in the country are currently powered by diesel generator sets.

He added that Toshiba’s hydrogen-based energy system would help bring down electricity rates in an off-grid area.

NATIONAL ELECTRIFICATION ADMINISTRATION
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