Government readies more RE use in agri-fishery sector

07-Dec-2021 Intellasia | PhilStar | 5:02 AM Print This Post

The government is eyeing to increase the utilisation of cost-efficient renewable energy (RE) systems and technologies in the country’s agriculture and fisheries sector as it is set to carry out an eight-year blueprint for the initiative.

The strategic directions for the Renewable Energy Programme for the Agri-Fishery Sector (REPAFS) were recently presented during the first meeting of a joint technical working group (JTWG) chaired by the Department of Agriculture Bureau of Agricultural and Fisheries Engineering (DA-BAFE) and the Department of Energy’s Renewable Energy Management Bureau (REMB).

Formulated by the BAFE, the REPAFS is an eight-year programme that will be implemented from 2022 to 2030

It acts as the blueprint in the effective and efficient integration of RE in agriculture and fisheries sectors, and serves as a component of the National Renewable Energy Programme (NREP).

“The goal of REPAFS is to promote the use of RE in the agriculture and fishery sector for enhanced productivity, sustainability, and environmental protection,” BAFE director Ariodear Rico said.

“The adoption of renewable energy technologies in agricultural activities offers promising prospects in addressing food and energy security together with the objective of environmental sustainability,”the BAFE said.

However, BAFE pointed out that despite the renewable energy’s potential, the rate of adoption is relatively slow due to many challenges.

Among these challenges are high cost of investment, limited support to RE technologies, lack of market-driven activities to showcase latest RE technologies, lack of skilled and competent technical experts, low number of existing standards for RE technologies, limited financing and credit support, and lack of incentives for RE end-users, among others.

Among REPAFS’ strategic directions include infrastructure and facilities support services, research and development, human resource development, standards development and enforcement, financing and credit support, and policy and incentives support.

Short-term projects under the programme or from 2022 to 2026 include pilot demonstration sites; enhancement of existing technologies; introduction of technology business incubators (TBIs) to local manufacturers of RE machinery and equipment; promotion of RE technologies for agri-fisheries production and postharvest operations; and the integration of design of different RE systems as additional or alternative power source of agricultural and fisheries facilities (including comparative cost studies for different RE set-up.

Special training for the preparation of RE project proposal; promotion to avail fiscal and non-fiscal incentives under RA 9513 to incentivise RE developers, manufacturers, fabricators, end-users of RE systems, and producers of energy feedstock; and inventory and assessment of different implemented RE systems and technologies in agri-fishery sector will also be part of the projects under REPAFS over the short term.

Meanwhile, medium term-projects under the REPAFS include provision of agricultural and fishery machinery and facilities driven by RE technologies; conversion of existing and installed projects of DA as energy/power source; support to local developers, manufacturers, end-users of RE technologies, and producers of RE feedstock; local RE technology development; rolling-out of the existing training regulations on solar-powered irrigation system operation and maintenance and biogas systems installation; development of additional TRs on RE for the agri-fisheries sector with an emphasis on biomass, solar, wind, and hydro; and the training of farmers, farm workers, and machinery operators on the use, operation, and maintenance of RE-powered machines, equipment, facilities, and other livelihood projects.

BAFE said the total budgetary requirement for REFAPS is P7.98 billion.


Category: Philippines

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