The European Union (EU)-funded Access to Sustainable Energy Programme – Clean Energy Living Laboratories (ASEP-CELLs) and the ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability Southeast Asia Secretariat last 24 November 2021 held a webinar showcasing local-level sustainable energy best practices.
Attended by more than 100 participants from Philippine local government units (LGUs), national government agencies, non-government organizations, academe and the private sector, the webinar aimed to promote sustainable energy best practices that Philippine LGUs may replicate as part of their local energy transition initiatives. These practices may also be integrated into their Local Energy Efficiency and Conservation Plans (LEECPs) in support of the Local Energy Code’s realization.
In his opening remarks, Mr. Giovanni Serritella, EU Delegation Philippines Program Manager for Environment and Climate Change, highlighted the European Union’s new “Green Deal” strategy and their target of at least 32.5% energy savings by 2030. The Green Deal serves as a blueprint for the union to reach its climate targets by 2030, as well as a symbol of its commitment to be a climate neutral continent by 2050.
As the country moves towards green resilience and inclusive recovery after the pandemic, Mr. Seritella also highlighted the EU’s close dialogue with the Philippine Government in transposing the Union’s green deal strategies and approaches through the support of Philippine partners, such as the Ateneo De Manila University and ICLEI SEAS.
In his speech, Department of Energy (DOE) Undersecretary Felix William Fuentebella explained the relevance of the LGU Energy Code to the LGU participants, saying “The LGU Energy Code aims to establish, strengthen, and integrate the national energy plans, programs, and policies into the local development plans with respect to energy safety practices, energy efficiency and conservation, energy resiliency, and energy planning.
Usec. Fuentebella added “It includes energy access, resource assessment, and the maximization of the benefits of the energy projects to the host communities. It also implements all other energy projects to spur the total development of the host LGUs.”
Local Energy Planning Framework and Tools for Decision Making
The first session on sustainable energy planning showcased the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) Philippines’ Financing and Integrating Renewable Energy in Butuan City (FinRE-BXU) initiative. Supported by Germany’s International Climate Initiative, the project assists the city in crafting its local energy development plan, financing a pilot renewable energy project, and promoting gains from the project. FinRE-BXU Program Manager Cheerylyn Agot highlighted the local planning framework and the resulting guidebook that other LGUs may use as reference in their own local energy planning.
Meanwhile, the Manila Observatory presented renewable energy maps—decision making tools for energy developers and local governments on harnessing renewable energy (RE). Supported by ASEP-CELLs, the renewable energy maps included site suitability, risks, and constraints as key decision factors for potential RE installation.
Sustainable Energy Best Practices Implemented by LGUs and Partners
The second session tackled sustainable energy best practices implemented by the national government, the private sector, and the academe in partnership with the LGU.
One of the solutions presented included a portable biogas digester created by the Department of Science and Technology – Industrial Technology Development Institute (DOST-ITDI). It is a small-scale technology that converts biodegradable wastes, such as animal manure and food wastes, into energy. According to DOST-ITDI Engr. David Herrera, the institute partnered with accredited fabricators to produce the biogas digesters, with each 1-000 liter unit estimated to cost around PHP 35,000 to PHP 37,000. The biogas digesters are currently part of the materials recovery facility of Muntinlupa City.
Presenting other clean energy solutions were University of San Carlos (USC) Associate Professor Engr. Isabelo Rabuy, One Renewable Energy Enterprise, Inc. (OREE) President and CEO Erel Narida, and the latter’s partner LGU, Concepcion, Iloilo represented by Planning and Development Officer Constancio Suiza, Jr.
Engr. Rabuya featured USC’s off-grid solar photovoltaic systems installation and energy efficiency projects in Gilutongan Island, Cordova, Cebu. Funded by the ASEP-CELLs, the project proved the viability of supporting local livelihood using well-designed small-scale solar PV systems complemented by energy efficient appliances.
Similarly, OREE and Concepcion shared their experience as implementing partners of DOE’s Development for Renewable Energy Applications Mainstreaming and Market Sustainability (DREAMS) Project that supported the installation of solar PV systems in select LGU facilities. Through the course of 25 years, the solar PV project is estimated to potentially save the LGU around PHP 12-million while earning around PHP 4.5-million from net-metering programs.
Also present during the webinar was Mr. Hendra Wijayanto, a transport expert from the Department of Transportation of DKI Jakarta Province, Indonesia. Mr Wijayanto highlighted Jakarta’s electric bus project integrating various transportation solutions. These include the installation and regulation of electric bus charging stations, and the encouragement of digitalization to address the needs of the province’s transport sector.
As ICLEI SEAS wraps up its part in the ASEP-CELLs, it will continuously coordinate with partner LGUs in advancing low-carbon initiatives, including sustainable energy best practices and policies.