Philippines - Bringing solar energy to the Enchanted Farm
- Selected project
- In progress
The NGO Gawad Kalinga
The Enchanted Farm is a farm-village-university created in 2010 by Tony Meloto. After building more than 3,000 communities for poor families, impacting more than one million people, he decided to focus on social entrepreneurship to showcase the wealth of the Philippines and the potential of young people across the country. Basically, the Enchanted Farm is a hub for social entrepreneurship, built around a community of 250 individuals who live and work mostly for the social enterprises. Stuff toys, peanut butter, salted eggs, carabao milk ice cream, the genius of the poor combine with experienced entrepreneurs allows the Enchanted Farm to innovate and produce high-value products. Most of the entrepreneurs come from SEED, a school for experiential and entrepreneurial development. Founded in the Enchanted Farm, SEED offers a 3-year university course for young people from modest backgrounds, to become a social entrepreneur.
The context of the project
The Philippines has been a colony of the Spanish empire and the Americans during more than 300 years until the middle of the 20th century. This colonial history had a major impact on the Filipino society and created a mindset of dependence and lack of confidence against foreigners. Then, the Philippines is composed of 7,641 islands, which encounters many climate disasters every year due to this position, the country is one the 3 countries worldwide the most affected by climate change.
With a young population and a poverty rate around 30%, the Philippines faces many challenges. Filipinos are recognized as very good workers and have the advantage of speaking English, which explains their strong presence abroad. The business composition is a bit complex with many huge corporations controlled by few families, and on the other side, many farmers, construction workers regrouped in the bottom of the pyramid. All those elements show the importance of having initiative as the Enchanted Farm to support growth in the countryside and social entrepreneurship.
The energetic issue of the NGO
The electricity is a very complex source of energy in the Philippines. Indeed, the electrification of remote areas is very difficult to achieve, this is a huge challenge to bring sustainable electricity to more than 2000 islands with inhabitants. The price of electricity is high due to the multitude of regional players which control the distribution network and the production facilities, his low electricity production compared to the consumption. Fortunately, it opens the development of production of electricity from renewable energy sources, which are being demonstrated to be cheaper than fossil sources.
The Enchanted Farm seeks to reduce its electricity bill by installing solar energy, and entering into a sustainable development approach, as an ecosystem recognized and innovative in the Philippines. The other advantage is that solar energy allows the Enchanted Farm to be more autonomous, and less dependant on the electricity coming from the grid which can encounter shortage.
The action supported by Synergie Solaire
A project manager has been deployed during 4 months in the Enchanted Farm to understand the exact needs of the association, the local issues, the regulatory framework, but also to work on the technical solution in collaboration with the local partners.The solution chosen for this project is a solar grid-tied system with net-metering. The NGO consumes the electricity produced and has the possibility to sell the surplus of production to the grid. This solar installation is built step by step with local partners to provide up to 50% of the electricity consumed by the Enchanted Farm. The objective of the project is to find a model that can provide impact in a long-term approach with replicable solutions. The first step involves a 24.12kWc installation before a second phase of around 25kWc that will occur in 2018. The project manager organized classes for the students about energy, and organized energy training, the construction of a solar oven, and also the visit of a 15 MW power plant.
Participation of Synergie Solaire
41 000 €
Sustainable development impacts of the project
- Qualitative improvement of electricity supply to sustain the activity of social enterprises in GK Enchanted Farm
- Lower energy bill for the Enchanted Farm
- Reinvestment of the savings into the social enterprises
- Use of solar energy for self-consumption instead of electricity in the grid mainly produced with coal-fired power plants
- Promotion and awareness of renewable energies for the visitors of the Enchanted Farm (students, businesses, communities).