EU to seek pro­pos­als for in­no­va­tive en­ergy projects

Business World - - THE ECONOMY - Vic­tor V. Saulon

THE Euro­pean Union (EU) said it will seek new pro­pos­als for “pro-poor and cli­mate-re­silient in­no­va­tive en­ergy so­lu­tions” for the Philip­pines that will take up about €10 mil­lion of fund­ing it has avail­able for such projects.

“Be­fore the end of this year, we will launch a new call for the re­main­ing €10 mil­lion and we will sign a con­tract be­fore June or July of 2018,” said Willy Hick, co­op­er­a­tion sec­tion pro­gram man­ager from the EU’s Philip­pine del­e­ga­tion.

“The calls al­to­gether (are worth) €21 mil­lion. We will award and sign the con­tracts for €11 mil­lion be­fore the end of this year,” he said on the side­lines of a press con­fer­ence ahead of the 4th En­ergy Smart Philip­pines con­fer­ence on Oct. 26, which the EU is co-fund­ing.

The fund­ing is part of the P3-bil­lion Ac­cess to Sus­tain­able En­ergy Pro­gramme (ASEP), which is a joint un­der­tak­ing of the Euro­pean Union and the Philip­pine De­part­ment of En­ergy (DoE).

Launched in 2014, the grant aims to help the govern­ment meet its ru­ral elec­tri­fi­ca­tion tar­gets through re­new­able en­ergy and the pro­mo­tion of en­ergy ef­fi­ciency.

In eu­ros, the grant is bro­ken down as €7.3 mil­lion for tech­ni­cal as­sis­tance and ca­pac­ity-build­ing; €29 mil­lion as in­vest­ment sup­port ad­min­is­tered by the World Bank; and €21 mil­lion for fund­ing as­sis­tance, for which the EU sought pro­ject pro­pos­als.

“We will re­vise the cri­te­ria,” Mr. Hick said. “We will take ad­van­tage of the lessons learned from the pre­vi­ous one, maybe make it a lit­tle more open, more straight­for­ward.”

Mads Chris­tensen, ASEP team leader, said the fund­ing for the tech­ni­cal as­sis­tance is a long-term ef­fort in which his group of ex­perts in­ter­act with the DoE staff. He said of the total grant, much has been spent on this com­po­nent.

“Al­though we’re one and a half years into the pro­ject, not much of the money for the in­vest­ment sup­port and the ac­tual equip­ment have been spent. What has been spent most is the al­lo­ca­tion for the tech­ni­cal as­sis­tance where we have a team of per­ma­nent ex­perts sit­ting in the [DoE],” he said.

Mr. Hick said many of the ap­pli­cants dur­ing the first call for pro­pos­als had not been se­lected for not meet­ing the “ad­min­is­tra­tive cri­te­ria.”—

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