Trainer of Trainers to electric cooperatives across the Philippines on solar hybrid mini-grid system design

19-21 March 2024 – The Philippines is one of the fastest-growing developing countries: poverty is in decline, access to energy is rising and, with that, demand for energy services. However, fossil fuels still dominate the energy system, accounting for 78% of power generation in 2022.

In an innovative effort to advance sustainable national electrification in the Philippines, the CORE initiative, under the management of the Alliance for Rural Electrification (ARE), has launched a pioneering training project on mini-grid system design with a focus on renewable energy optimisation. This project, a collaboration with the National Electrification Administration of the Philippines (NEA), signifies a landmark move towards bolstering the capabilities of electric cooperatives across the nation, leveraging solar hybrid mini-grid technology to fulfil the vision of affordable and sustainable electrification for all.

CORE’s mission, to enable resilient rural and peri-urban communities by emphasising safety, efficiency, and reliability in decentralised electrification, finds a powerful expression in this project. The NEA, revitalised and refocused towards enhancing the efficiency, reliability, and global competitiveness of the Philippines’ rural electrification programme, stands as an ideal partner in this venture. Together, CORE and NEA aim to equip local electric cooperatives with the skills and knowledge necessary to design, evaluate, and implement solar hybrid mini-grid systems effectively.

The training programme is structured in two legs: a Training-of-Trainers (ToT) session conducted for key NEA staff, followed by a broader training session for representatives from 30 electric cooperatives, led by these newly trained NEA staff. This cascading knowledge transfer model ensures a comprehensive coverage, maximising the impact of the training. The focus is on optimising renewable energy resources, developing feasibility studies, and evaluating project proposals from the private sector, tailored specifically to the Philippines’ unique context.

By sharing expertise and insights on solar hybrid mini-grid system design, CORE contributes significantly to the overarching goal of sustainable electrification. Being part of  the project underscores the importance of drawing on specialised knowledge and experience to address the complex challenges of rural electrification in the Philippines.

The training materials are refined and contextualised for the Philippines in collaboration with the selected experts. This ensures the content is directly applicable and maximally beneficial for the participants. The hands-on, in-person nature of the training, conducted in Manila, facilitates an interactive learning environment, fostering a deeper understanding of the subject matter.

The collaboration between CORE and NEA exemplifies a forward-thinking approach to capacity building, where expertise and local knowledge converge to create a more electrified, efficient, and sustainable future.