Senator Sherwin Gatchalian is promoting a bill that will fast-track the development of microgrids in unserved and underserved areas nationwide.
This is part of an effort to meet the government’s aim to fully electrify the Philippines by 2022.
Gatchalian filed the Senate Bill No. 2218 also known as the “Microgrid Systems Act,” which aims to provide reliable power services to every household in the country, and accelerate the electrification process to unserved and underserved areas.
“The government has stated that total electrification in unserved areas cannot be done by traditional grid extension alone and that non-traditional means – such as microgrid systems – are needed. The problem of energy access is also a concern even in ‘electrified’ areas with limited electricity service, or what we call underserved areas,” the senator was quoted in a Page One report.
“What we will do is to allow proponents to put up microgrids. These microgrids will be self-sustaining, meaning they will be producing as well as distributing power,” he added.
Gatchalian believes the bill will pave the way for the Philippines to be fully electrified through the installation of microgrid systems by accredited Microgrid Service Providers (MSPs).
The bill also mandates the creation of a streamlined process for MSPs with clear timelines and stiff sanctions for delays. It also removes the need for getting waivers from incumbent franchised utilities.
In addition, the bill also mandates the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) to provide a benchmark prices in lieu of its traditional review of contracts, which delayed providing power services in these areas.
Gatchalian cited a data from DOE’s database that 2,779,530 households, or 11.7 percent nationwide still have no electricity services.
“If we want to achieve 100-percent household electrification by 2022, we need to look for other technologies. Let’s improve the process of electrification,” he said.