Eastern Samar stakeholders shape province’s renewable energy roadmap; call for just energy transition

(in photo above) Participants of the RE-Start Campaign 2 Culminating Activity in a ceremonial turnover of the Proposed Renewable Energy Roadmap for Eastern Samar document collaboratively developed with multi-sectoral stakeholders in the province. 

ICLEI Southeast Asia on 22 November 2023 wrapped up its technical implementation of the RE-Start Campaign 2 Project with back-to-back engagements involving multi-sectoral stakeholders from Eastern Samar, Philippines, in the process wrapping up months of collaboration towards creating a just energy transition-focused renewable energy roadmap for the province.  

The engagements included bilateral discussions with the Eastern Samar Provincial Government, and a culminating event to discuss and turn over the project’s outputs to the partner local government units (LGUs), as well as to facilitate exchanges of lessons learned from and collaborative ways forward beyond the project. 

The project wrap-up activities began with a meeting with Mr. Raymond Ocampo, Executive Assistant to the Governor of Eastern Samar Province. The bilateral discussion served as a platform to discuss the project outcomes at a provincial level; synergies of the RE-Start Campaign with other development work in the area; the broader energy situation and needs of Eastern Samar province; and the possible solutions to these energy concerns.  

During the conversations, ICLEI Southeast Asia highlighted the possibility of creating a multi-stakeholder energy committee at the provincial level, a mechanism which seeks to ensure that the benefits of renewable energy (RE) are equitably distributed across society—especially to the most vulnerable sectors—by ensuring a multiplicity of voices in the development of local energy plans, programs, and activities. 

Meanwhile, the culminating activity saw the participation of 18 representatives from the Borongan City government; Eastern Samar Electric Cooperative (ESAMELCO), the province’s electric distribution utility; Eastern Samar State University, the province’s main public education provider; and various civil society organizations and people’s organizations of Borongan. 

The capstone event saw a review of the project’s activities and outcomes throughout 2023, including the kickoff meeting, inception workshops, capacity-sharing workshops, and each LGU’s respective energy profiles, renewable energy potential, and possible pathways towards local energy democratization. The attending stakeholders were also able to discuss points of collaboration regarding RE development and their desire to actively participate in local energy planning processes. 

Eastern Samar currently has a peak electricity demand of almost 20 MW versus a contracted capacity of 22 MW from various private energy producers. 20 MW of this total capacity comes from traditional coal-fired power plants located in other Philippine islands. Only two (2) MW comes from renewable energy sources, specifically from a geothermal power plant from the neighboring Leyte Island.  

Based on energy modelling assessments, solar power and hydropower are seen as the most viable renewable energy pathways in the province. Eastern Samar has a global horizontal irradiation (GHI) potential between 4.0 to 5.0 kWh/m2 per day for solar power. Through digital elevation maps (DEM), ICLEI SEA also identified 16 potential hydropower sites throughout the province with a potential energy generation capacity of over 3,300 MWh. 

The RE-Start Campaign 2 project sought to promote a democratized system of integrating renewable energy in the plans, programs, and budgets of the Provincial Government of Eastern Samar and the local government units (LGUs) of Borongan and Dolores. Throughout 2023, ICLEI SEA and Oxfam Pilipinas, through the support of Tara Climate Foundation, worked with multi-sectoral stakeholders in the three areas to strengthen the LGUs’ institutions to plan and integrate RE in their local development plans together with their stakeholders. 

The project outputs included an introductory renewable energy flyer in the local language, RE roadmap, roadmap process documentation, and a policy brief. 

The primary references used in the formulation of the Proposed Renewable Energy Roadmap for the Eastern Samar Province include the 100% RE Building Blocks: A Practical Toolkit for a Sustainable Transition to 100% Renewable Energy as well as the Guidebook for Local Government Units on Formulating Local Energy Efficiency and Conservation Plan (LEECP)—both were co-developed by ICLEI. 

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