Focus Area: Renewable Energy

accessRE – Promoting Access to Solar Energy Solutions for Small Buildings in the Philippines

The energy crisis in the Philippines incurs up to 23 billion pesos (0.17% of the GDP) in economic damages and has affected small and medium-sized buildings (SMBs) that struggle to address increases in power cuts. The crisis also affects public buildings like schools and hospitals. The accessRE project responds to the problem through the adoption of sustainable power systems, particularly solar panel installations in selected community-relevant SMBs.


The project introduces small-scale solar power solutions with capacities ranging from 3kWh to 7kWh that can save SMBs PHP 3,900 to PHP 9,100 per month with a return on investment period of about 2-5 years and an average lifespan of 20 years. Specific project activities include the conduct of (1) multi-sectoral dialogues and facilitation of local alliances; (2) pilot installations within SMBs amounting to 100kWp capacity; (3) establishment of a Technical Training Center; and (4) community awareness and promotion of low-cost energy alternatives. The project also seeks to achieve sustainability by building local capacity and providing education and employment opportunities for solar technicians and consultants through training and job placement sessions.


By the end of the project it would have reduced the stress on conventional energy sources through increased adoption of solar technology among SMBs, improved productivity within key establishments through uninterrupted power supply, established a regular pipeline of local green (solar) technicians for affordable solutions, and created positive impact and contributed to the National Energy Efficiency and Conservation Road Map of the country.

Zero Carbon Resorts – Building Energy Autonomous Resorts

Tourism in the Philippines is a major contributor to the economy and creates local employment. It has grown rapidly and with its high demand for energy, it is also responsible for a large amount of carbon emissions. The project worked on reducing energy consumption by using locally available carbon-neutral resources, reducing the carbon footprint of the tourism industry in the Philippines.


The Zero Carbon Resorts project funded by the European Commission aimed to influence numerous tourism SMEs to operate their facilities in energy-efficient ways and increase their guests’ awareness of energy-saving behaviors. The project also built the capacity and knowledge of intermediaries, engineers, consultants, architects, planners and SME owners and managers on how to diagnose problems related to energy consumption and how to solve those using appropriate solutions. It also prototyped and tested possible solutions (i.e. small-scale solar energy and biomass devices), and influenced policy related to building regulations vis-à-vis energy standards.


ASSIST handled project promotion activities to convince more tourism SMEs to use energy efficient practices. It included the design and development of three training manual handbooks, training toolkits, project website with a database, content management experts with technical expertise on resource efficiency, organizing of two large events for project promotion and promotion of success stories of hotels/resorts.

ENACT – Energy Academy to Create Renewable Transformation

Acute shortage of electricity is a major problem that India faces currently. About 71% of electricity is generated from non-renewable resources which results in death from indoor pollution and carbon monoxide burning. However, India simultaneously possesses a huge potential for solar power generation. However, developments in the field of solar energy are met with the challenge of finding people with expertise in the field.


Co-financed by DEG and Phocos, and implemented by ASSIST, ENACT aimed to set up a solar academy to develop skilled technicians from among women and youth of rural areas through a well-structured training program. The larger aim of the project was to take a step towards addressing the problem of acute shortage of electricity in India through renewable energy alternatives.


Over the course of two years, ENACT has created mass awareness among the public on the use of solar energy and its efficiency when compared to other energy sources through various mobilization and awareness campaigns. This project informed more than 800 students in the fields of IT, science and engineering on solar energy and technology. Moreover, ENACT trained 141 students, of which 45 were women, as solar technicians and more than 50 trainers. Dealership was given to several solar technicians who started their own enterprises.

Mapping Studies on Solid Waste, Renewable Energy and Water Saving Technologies

As part of the initiative to develop H&M’s “Green Industry” strategy for the garment supply chains of Cambodia & Myanmar, ASSIST conducted a mapping of the existing stakeholders on renewable energy.


ASSIST conducted mapping studies and generated reports on solid waste, renewable energy, and water saving technologies. The reports provided a description of the subject’s current conditions in the country, the existing stakeholders and key players and the national solutions/technologies available. The reports also offer a more detailed analysis of the subject specifically in the context of the country’s garment industry and recommend relevant actions for the sector. Following those 6 reports (3 in Cambodia, 3 in Myanmar), H&M requested ASSIST replicate the studies in Vietnam.

Energy Efficiency Initiative

The percentage of the Cambodian population with access to electricity is very low, at 56.1% in 2014. A lack of electricity affects society in numerous ways: children find it more difficult to study, families are unable to properly prepare food, communities cannot conduct social gatherings and the overall productivity of the country suffers. To meet the growing demand for affordable and accessible electricity, it is essential to adopt alternative sources of electricity production.


Considering the challenges faced by Cambodian communities, ASSIST is working to implement the Energy Efficiency Initiative and increase the capacity of distributors to create and support a market for Philips’ solar systems. The Energy Efficiency Initiative is a project organized by ASSIST, DEG, and Philips, to provide LED solar systems to electricity-deprived regions in Cambodia and build the capacity of local actors to support and maintain LED solar systems. Local stakeholders, such as public authorities, community representatives, and NGOs, will collaborate and coordinate the capacity building of communities, the implementation and maintenance of Philips’ solar products and LED Solar Lighting Solutions.


By the end of the 18-month period of implementation, the Energy Efficiency Initiative will have reached 510 households and 30 public spaces; including playgrounds, classrooms and community centers. The target communities will enjoy the benefits of high-quality and cost-effective lighting that is reliable and robust, easy to install and maintain, matches climate factors with minimum environmental impact, ultimately providing a better standard of life, be it day or night.