Clean energy companies tout community-centric business models

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CLEAN ENERGY companies said their business models depends on community engagement, the importance of which they cited in making the transition to green sources of power more inclusive.

Charlie Ayco, president of WeGen Laudato Si’, Inc., cited community participation in his presentation on the company’s business model, “The Power of Sharing,” delivered during the Asia Clean Energy Forum 2022 on Tuesday.

“You can replicate the model… as long as you engage the local electric cooperative or the distribution utility because they own the distribution system, and then the participation of the community is very, very important because they are the ones maintaining and collecting the payments,” he said.

Knowledge of the technology, operations and maintenance are also crucial components, he added.

The model was applied to a community on Pamilacan island in Bohol, taking the form of a donation. Mr. Ayco said power used to be available only for eight hours a day, during night time.

“It is a 39-kilowatt power (kwp) solar photovoltaic (PV) system, and we included a 154-kilowatt hour battery storage,” he said.

“The solar PV system provided the daytime electricity needs of the island while the diesel generator powered the island during the night. As a result, the island got 24/7 electricity starting 2017,” he added.

“For our company, the Pamilacan power energy system is a perfect case of (making) sustainable energy available anytime and anywhere.”

John Mark Napao, president of Solar Hope, Inc., said his company’s strategy starts with community engagement or mapping, followed by capacity building or training, and then installation of solar home systems.

Solar Hope has been working since 2017 with communities in Malitam, Batangas; Paluan, Occidental Mindoro; and Antipolo, Tanay, Rodriguez, and Morong, Rizal.

He said Solar Hope is soliciting pledges for 829 homes, and has secured pledges for 446.

The group hopes to light 1,275 homes to “help families cope with the pandemic, distance learning, and enjoy the benefits of having access to energy.” — Arjay L. Balinbin

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