News and Announcements
Aboitiz Foundation and Quezon Power join rural electrification drive using renewable energy
Two big players in the energy business in the country further their advocacy for energy access for all including those in remote off-grid rural areas. The Aboitiz Foundation) and Quezon Power signed an agreement with the Alliance for Mindanao and Multi-Regional Renewable/Rural Energy Development (AMORE) Program on March 21st for the electrification of rural households using renewable energy, particularly, solar photovoltaic (PV) technology.
The AMORE Program, a rural electrification program of the United States Agency for the International Development, supports the Department of Energy’s mission to electrify all households in the country by 2017. Towards that end, AMORE has successfully encouraged participation from private energy businesses, including SunPower Foundation – the corporate social responsibility arm of the leading solar cell manufacturer, SunPower – for the program’s rural school electrification activities.
Seen to benefit from these new partnerships are more than 2,000 households in Davao City, Davao del Sur, Masbate and the Quezon province.
Operating since 2002, the AMORE program has energized thousands of remote households in off-grid areas, mostly, in Mindanao. The program’s long experience in rural electrification and its focus on project impact sustainability through intensive community capacity-building are what make the program attractive for partnership with organizations in the private sector.
Just a month ago, AMORE, in cooperation with the Asian Development Bank and the International Copper Association of Southeast Asia, held an All-Women Solar PV Technicians training that prepared women from AMORE project sites to become PV technicians. A total of 65 women from all over rural Mindanao learned about solar technology and basic systems installation, troubleshooting and repair.
Two months before that, in December 2011, the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao graduated its first batch of solar PV technicians and trainers. TESDA is the government agency tasked to manage and supervise technical education and skills development in the country.
The training, and subsequent graduation of the TESDA-certified PV technicians, was a result of the AMORE program’s years of work towards mainstreaming solar PV education in the country. Through the program’s efforts, three training regulations for photovoltaics – system installation, servicing, and design – were ratified by the National TESDA Board of Directors in December 2008.
A total of 21 technicians participated and successfully completed the training for PV technicians. All have been granted NC-II certificates as PV Systems Installation Technicians. Of these, thirteen (13) were granted NC-III certificates as PV Systems Design Technicians with eight (8) further granted NC III certificates as PV Systems Design Technicians. Most of these TESDA-certified PV technicians will be tapped to become trainors and assessors in succeeding trainings to be initiated by TESDA. The competency based curriculum and training regulations can now be downloaded from the TESDA website at www.tesda.gov.ph.