Making Lives Brighter in Rural Communities
Lighting up communities through Renewable Energy Technology
To bring energy services to remote, conflict-affected communities in rural Mindanao is the AMORE Program's primary thrust. These communities - low-income yet showing tremendous potential for development - are chosen after consultation with program partners.
Located at least five kilometers from the nearest electricity grid pole, these communities are energized using stand-alone renewable energy technology such as photovoltaic (battery charging station or solar home system) and micro hydro systems.
By the close of the Program's Phase II in September 2009, AMORE had energized over 13,000 households in over 400 barangays in 12 provinces in Mindanao, most of which are in the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao.
Read here of stories of improved lives in the AMORE communities.
Renewable Energy Technologies
Stand-alone photovoltaic (PV) and micro-hydro power (MHP) systems were installed by the AMORE program in rural communities, depending on the community's resources and the mode of electrification agreed upon by program partners. Below is a description of each system.
|PV Battery Charging System (PV BCS)|
|PV Solar Home System (PV SHS)||20 to 50 watt-peak||
2-3 CFL lamps
black & white TV
|PV Communal System||210/300 watt-peak lighting systems in schools, health centers and/or community centers||
4-5 units CFL lamps
|Micro Hydro||20 to 45 kilowatts|
Towards Sustaining and Expanding the Benefits of RE Technology
For sustainability and expansion of Program benefits, community members are organized into Barangay Renewable Energy and Community Development Association (BRECDA), and trained to operate and maintain the RE systems. The Organizational and Financial Management capacity building trainings offered by the Program to beneficiaries are designed to equip community members with the knowledge and skills necessary for community development. BRECDAs choose their own leaders, formulate their own constitutions and by-laws, raise their own funds to operate and maintain their RE systems and expand their development, and register their organization with the appropriate government agency to give it a legal identity. BRECDAs are further organized into municipal, provincial, and/or regional BRECDA federations for sharing of skills, resources, best practices, and lessons learned; conflict resolution; and wider networking with development partners. BRECDA women and youth are further empowered to fully support their BRECDAs..
Recognizing the critical role of properly managing the community's natural resource - on which the community's livelihood and the microhydro system's long-term performance depended - the AMORE Program implemented natural resource management interventions. Mangrove reforestation and coastal clean-ups were initiated in photovoltaic areas to help community members increase their capacity to pay for the RE systems by training them on proper management of their resources. Watershed and riparian management plans were drafted for microhydro sites to help communities ensure stable and reliable waterflow for the microhydro systems' optimal and sustained output..
To date, a total of 13.3 hectares have been reforested in Sulu and Maguindanao, and 5,240 tons of coastal debris collected in a clean-up project particpated in by 31 villages in Sulu and Tawi-Tawi. A total of 15 Riparian Development & Management Plans have been drafted for sites in Lanao del Sur, Maguindanao and Sultan Kudarat..
AMORE's electrification program has been successfully implemented with funding support for procurement of RE systems from Program partners, the United States Agency for International Development, the Department of Energy, the former Mirant Philippines Foundation, Sunpower Foundation, and others.
While having done most of its rural electrification work on a subsidized grant basis, the AMORE Program had begun venturing into the commercial approach for long-term sustainability and expansion of rural electrification services. The Program's Phase III (2009-2013) uses commercialization as strategy in the fulfillment of its rural electrification mission. By working towards developing and strengthening the renewable energy supply chain in Mindanao, AMORE aims to link up rural households with energy suppliers and service providers, including financing institutions.
The AMORE Program hopes to develop vibrant renewable energy market linkages in Mindanao, beginning in the 474 AMORE villages.