PV solar power and rural electrification for Developing countries
Philippine National Oil Co. and the Spanish firm Isofoton signed an agreement last month during the Conference on Renewable Energies in Madrid, Spain. The purpose of the alliance is to develop a photovoltaic (PV) solar energy project in the Philippines.
Isofoton will help the government source the necessary funds to pursue and promote the solar PV rural electrification program of President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.
The estimated cost for the project is between 14 and 21 million US dollars. Once the project is completed, he said they expect to install a total of 15,100 solar home systems in the country.
These sort of projects are a steady bet of the Spanish energy leader Isofotón, which has a solid portfolio of renewable energy projects in developing countries.
Their business model has two focuses: it aims to provide developed nations with a real energy alternative, and in terms of energy development, to trigger development in low income areas of developing companies.
Currently, the company is installing solar energy systems in remote villages in Morocco where the national network does not reach – a step further in the rural electrification policy (PERG). Through its Moroccan subsidiary, Isofotón will install 34,500 PV systems in villages of Morocco where solar power is the only possible energy alternative.
Isofotón coordinates both the commercial and technical aspects of the project. Once installed, the company makes sure that neighbors are aware of the system, its maintenance standards and contact information for customer service of the closest agency.
Isofotón is also partnering with the government in Ghana to install solar pumping systems in agricultural applications. Isofotón’s commitment in Ghana dates back several years and in 1998, the company received $5 million for rural electrification projects within the framework of a Spanish government loan to Ghana.
Another milestone for the Isofotón rural electrification portfolio took place in Bolivia. It consisted of supplying solar electricity to 17,000 homes, communal centers, schools and health posts in 4 of the country’s 6 regions over the course of 3 years. Eighty-five percent of this project is financed by the World bank through the International Reconstruction and Development bank, and the remaining 15 percent will be paid by users through fees and a microcredit system that is adjusted to their real payment capacity.
The company also supports the efforts of its employees through the Energy Solidarity Foundation, an initiative they have created to help in the areas they are good at and where Isofoton may provide them with infrastructure and logistic support. The foundation uses its funds to carry out Rural Solar Energy Electrification projects in developing countries in order to improve the quality of life of the inhabitants of the neediest regions.
This video from the company lists the benefits of solar rural electrification in developing countries: