Solar panels and batteries stolen from schools in Palawan, the Philippines

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Solar modules and deep cycle batteries have been stolen from seven secondary public schools in two municipalities in southern Palawan, in the Philippines.

An investigation aided by police is now being carried out over the missing solar-plus-storage systems that had been used to power computers at the schools in Bataraza and Rizal municipalities, according to the Philippines News Agency.

Purchasers of solar panels have been told to be vigilant to make sure they do not buy the stolen items unwittingly. No further details were supplied about the solar and storage technologies.

In more positive news, the Palawan provincial government’s solar home system (SHS) distribution programme has seen another 2,467 PV units delivered to residents in 11 barangays (districts) in Rizal municipality earlier this month, again according to Philippines News Agency.

The solar systems are aimed at supplying power to households that have no access to other forms of power supply, which is classified as having a home more than 400 metres away from power lines. Those receiving solar modules must also attend seminars to be educated on how to maintain and use the panels.

Off-grid and decentralised solar is now a hot topic in the Philippines as Congress pours over a controversial House Bill that would give developer and manufacturer Solar Philippines a franchise to set up solar-battery mini-grids anywhere in the country. A resolution to this issue could be expected as early as this week.

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