This is an excerpt from EERE Network News, a weekly electronic newsletter.

January 13, 2004

U.S. and Philippines Join Forces on Sustainable Energy Projects

U.S. Secretary of Energy Spencer Abraham and Philippine Secretary of Energy Vincente Perez signed a memorandum of understanding on January 13th to strengthen the Sustainable Energy Development Program between the two countries and to promote the use of cleaner-burning fuels in vehicles. The Sustainable Energy Development Program is a $5 million project sponsored by DOE, the Philippines Department of Energy, and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). It includes efforts to develop a renewable energy bill for the Philippines and to expand the use of cleaner alternative fuels such as natural gas.

While in the Philippines, Secretary Abraham also participated in a "Lights On" ceremony for the Alliance for Mindanao Off-Grid Renewable Energy (AMORE) Program. By December, the AMORE program aims to bring electricity to more than 5,000 homes in 160 remote communities. The program presently supplies electricity to more than 2,500 households in 84 communities using solar-powered battery chargers. Mirant Philippines is providing equipment worth approximately $3.2 million, while USAID is providing $6.4 million to strengthen the ability of local communities to operate, maintain, and protect the renewable energy systems. See the DOE press release.

The USAID's Philippines Web site provides additional information on the AMORE program and sustainable energy development efforts.