THE Department of Energy (DoE) said it installed solar-powered pumps to extract potable water from deep wells in Goa, Camarines Sur, as part of a demonstration project for local government units (LGUs), which are being encouraged to adopt more renewable energy (RE) in their communities.

“Through investments in off-grid and rural RE systems, local government units are encouraged to integrate RE into their own plans and policies,” the DoE said in a statement.

The solar well systems are part of the DoE’s Development for Renewable Energy Applications Mainstreaming and Market Sustainability (DREAMS) program.

The DoE said its partners for the solar pump installation in 10 water-deprived communities in Goa, are the Global Environment Facility, the Goa LGU, and the United Nations Development Programme.

The DoE and the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) have signed on to a plan to accelerate RE use at barangay, municipal, and provincial levels.

The DoE said that about 820 families in Camarines Sur have benefited from the project.

Goa Mayor Marcel S. Pan said that the completion of the project will provide relief to communities which had previously accessed water with some difficulty.

 DREAMS is designed to reduce greenhouse gasses emissions via greater use of RE. It is part of a broader effort to increase the share of RE in the power mix.

A 2020 joint circular issued by the DoE and DILG directed LGUs to identify RE sources within their jurisdictions and incorporate RE into their development plans and streamline permits for RE projects.

“Investments in off-grid and rural RE systems are key contributors to the realization of the National Renewable Energy Program (NREP) goals,” Tea Jalin Ty, project monitoring and evaluation officer for the DREAMS project, said in a statement.

“RE can be the answer to problems of electrification, and even other social welfare issues like water and health,” Ms. Ty added. — Ashley Erika O. Jose