Reliable access to electricity is something that many of us take for granted, both domestically and for business.
However, there are many people around the world who cannot rely on having a dependable power supply or, in some cases, any access at all.
One such area where access to electricity is a challenge is the Philippines, where around 50% of the 7460 islands of the Filipino archipelago are inhabited.
The nature of the archipelago makes it impossible for these islands to be connected to the mainland’s national grid and so alternative, off-grid solutions needed to be found.
These off-grid solutions tend to lean towards diesel-powered production and battery-based storage solutions, but they are not reliably available across the entire archipelago.
This situation has been steadily improving over the past two decades, with one out of every four people having either no electricity or experiencing power fluctuations in 2002, reducing to one in ten people by 2016.
The Philippine Development plan 2017 - 2022 saw the government set a target to close this gap and ensure total electrification by the end of 2022, but reaching the most sparsely populated islands was always going to be a challenge.
Of course, access to reliable energy can transform lives, but energy poverty has been found to have more insidious effects, disproportionately impacting the poorest in society and creating worse economic, educational and employment outcomes and creating worse mental and physical health as well as reducing social mobility.
The IMPHORAA project is working to help turn these negative factors around by offering reliable, sustainable, efficient, and scalable solar power energy solutions to ensure people in remote rural areas, including the Philippines, have access to electricity as well as associated benefits like water pumping and cooling provision.
This project is supported by Innovate UKs Energy Catalyst Programme (funding by the Foreign, Commonwealth Development Office through their Transforming Energy Access Programme) and UK aid and was awarded as a “subsidy” under the UK International Obligations for Subsidy Control and delivered under Grant 90935 from Innovate UK.