EU backs solar project for off-grid communities
Danessa Rivera (The Philippine Star) - July 28, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines —  The European Union (EU) is supporting a solar project aimed to energize off-grid communities in Cebu, Bohol and Palawan by providing a grant worth 2.2 million euros, or P120 million, to promote renewable energy development in the country.

Project Renewable Energy for Livelihood and Youth (RELY) of proponents Sequa gGmbH, Vivant Foundation Inc. and PROCESS-Bohol is one of the seven awardees of the EU-Access to Sustainable Energy Programme (ASEP) call for proposals that totaled to 31.

RELY aims to promote the use of renewable energy to improve lives and foster climate change mitigation in poor and remote communities by energizing 16 off-grid public schools in the three provinces.

The approach combines solar electrification with community development and improved vocational education by collaborating with partner senior high schools.

“We are happy and honored that our proposal was selected by the EU and we, thus, get the opportunity to implement another project that will contribute to a better future for poor and remote communities,” said Sabine Schacknat, RELY project director from Sequa gGmbH.

“Solar electrification of the schools is now accompanied by awareness raising activities on renewable energy and climate change for all stakeholders and by support to the communities in improving their livelihoods. We are confident that bringing together schools, communities and the private sector will create great opportunities for rural development,” she said.

RELY project lead Sequa gGmbH chose to partner with Vivant Foundation, which has implemented a program that served as basis for RELY in Bantayan, Cebu.

Both decided to bring PROCESS-Bohol, an experienced non-governmental organization (NGO) for community livelihood development, on board.

“Through our former activities in the Philippines, we came to know about Vivant Foundation’s Project Liadlaw and saw its potential. We joined forces with them and PROCESS-Bohol to design a concept that expands its reach to communities and MSMEs in the areas,” Schacknat said.

Under Project Liadlaw, Vivant Foundation installed a 50-kilowatt peak (kwp) rooftop solar at the Hilotongan Integrated School in an island barangay off Bantayan, Cebu.

To ensure the sustainability of the off-grid energization project, the foundation worked with the Department of Education and Technical Education and Skills Development Authority to introduce an enhanced curriculum for the electrical installation and maintenance track offering at the Bantayan Senior High School, which incorporates solar energy. 

ENEWABLE ENERGY EUROPEAN UNION SOLAR PROJECT
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