The Alliance for Mindanao Off-grid Renewable Energy (AMORE) Program is a partnership of governments, principally of the United States through the United States Agency for International Development and of the Philippines through the Department of Energy, and private sector partners from the energy industry such as the former Mirant Philippines Foundation and Sunpower Corporation, and is administered by Winrock International, a US-based non-profit organization. New alliances are aggressively being pursued with other public and private sector partners in support of the program's many integral components.
United States Agency for International Development
As the United States’ principal foreign assistance agency, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) works to support long-term and equitable economic growth and advances US foreign policy objectives of expanding democracy and free markets while improving lives in developing countries like the Philippines.
To promote the Philippines’ development, USAID has been implementing aggressive, broad-ranging activities in the country’s poorest provinces in its southernmost island of Mindanao. These activities aim to improve the business climate in the region and make its economic growth more equitable, reintegrate former combatants into the economy, and promote the use of environmentally friendly renewable energy systems. All of these goals are addressed by the AMORE program. Other USAID programs in Mindanao seek to strengthen local government units and address population and health problems.
Department of Energy
Total national electrification has been a thrust of the Philippine government for the past 30 years. Past electrification programs, however, had been hampered by geographical as well as financial constraints. This time, the government is devoting more efforts to this imperative task through the “O Ilaw” - since renamed Expanded Rural Electrification - program of the Philippine Department of Energy (DoE), which encourages greater private sector investment and participation in all energy activities of the government. Foreign aid agencies, especially USAID, have also been consistently providing financial and technical assistance to the government towards its goal of national electrification.
The DOE, in coordination with attached agencies, has constantly adopted programs in support of the Government’s poverty alleviation efforts through wider access to electricity supply and services: (i) Accelerated Barangay Electification Program (ABEP) in 1999, (ii) O’ Ilaw Program from January 2000 to March 2003, and (iii) Expanded Rural Electrification Program in April 2003.
The AMORE program of USAID and Winrock International aims to support the DoE objectives of 100 percent barangay electrification by 2006, and 100 percent household electrification by 2017.
Sunpower Corporation, a solar company headquartered in California, USA, and that designs, manufactures and delivers high-performance solar electric systems worldwide for residential, commercial and utility-scale power plant customers, partnered with Winrock International in 2004 for the implementation of the Solar Energy for Rural Electrification and Development (SERED) project under the USAID Global Development Alliance (GDA). The SERED project sought to promote solar energy market development through support for strengthening the private sector delivery chain to better serve rural markets, and support for innovative rural energy service approaches. It also promoted the use of reliable solar energy systems in cost-effective rural applications including in rural household and schools. By the close of the project, 63 rural schools had been installed with solar-powered distance education facilities, and electrification in AMORE barangays had been intensified with the installation of small solar systems (20Wp SHS, solar/LED lanterns) in 385 households.
In AMORE Phase 3, Sunpower Corporation, through its CSR arm, Sunpower Foundation, continues to support AMORE's work on school electrification and distance education. A total of 150 schools are seen to gain access to multimedia-based distance education using the 400 to 460 wattpeak solar panels from Sunpower.
Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao
The Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao or ARMM is a region located in the southern portion of Mindanao which includes the mainland provinces of Maguindanao and Basilan and the traditional island centers of Muslim economic, political and cultural activities, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi. Covering approximately 12,000 square kilometers – about four percent of the country's total land area – and with a population of more than two million predominantly Muslim inhabitants, the ARMM is the poorest region in the Philippines today.
The Alliance for Mindanao Off-grid Renewable Energy (AMORE) program of USAID and Winrock International works in remote rural communities in the said region, as well as in some provinces in Southern, Western and Central Mindanao.
The AMORE program works and coordinates with various government agencies and local government units in the ARMM region on the implementation of its rural electrification work. Political support and contribution in cash and kind had been provided to the program.
The Alliance for Mindanao Off-grid Renewable Energy (AMORE) program is part of Winrock International’s drive to expand the use of clean, renewable energy technologies worldwide. Winrock’s Clean Energy Group works in coordination with local communities, governments, financial institutions, non-government organizations, and other partners.
Based in the U.S., Winrock primarily works in USAID-assisted developing countries to help them establish programs that integrate environmental and economic sustainability. With this, Winrock increases the availability of clean and affordable renewable energy in developing countries for economic development and natural resource management.