Rural utilities told to use locally available resources to power remote areas

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THE National Electrification Administration (NEA) said off-grid power providers must use locally-available resources when possible to ensure affordable and reliable electricity.

The agency, which is tasked with fully energizing the country, told rural utilities in a recent virtual consultation to study electrification solutions drawing on locally-available resources.

“Energy access matters during the pandemic. Hence, we urge the electric cooperatives to consider setting up microgrids and solar home systems to connect remote communities without access to electricity,” NEA Administrator Edgardo R. Masongsong was quoted as saying in a statement.

The Department of Energy will be assisting electric cooperatives developing small-scale power facilities running on renewable sources like hydro and solar, according to Undersecretary Emmanuel P. Juaneza.

The NEA is celebrating its 51st anniversary this month, which is also National Electrification Awareness Month.

Recently, it launched a strategy conference with 121 electric cooperatives to draft a two-year sustainability plan, which includes enhancements to the industry’s resiliency during the pandemic.

The Philippines is now 96% electrified with around 13.81 million households powered out of 14.34 million. — Adam J. Ang