Peak blackouts expected in 2015 to 2016; critical power supply

By , on July 23, 2014

Shutterstock photo
Shutterstock photo

Studies have indicated that power supply to Philippine consumers, especially in the biggest electrical grid of Luzon island, is at risk of reaching critical levels starting 2015, with blackouts peaking in that year until 2016.

These studies show that reserve capacities throughout the summer months – during which demand for power is generally at its highest – for the Luzon grid may be only at 500 to 800 megawatts; way less than the amount required for the continuous provision of electricity.

At present, rotational blackouts already occur during periods of lower demand, raising serious concerns of the dilemma presented by higher consumption requirements and lower power supply.

In this regard, Energy Secretary Carlos Jericho L. Petilla has acknowledged that the country’s power supply is in a “very critical situation” and has recommended that President Aquino be given “emergency powers.”

At a meeting with the Philippine Independent Power Producers Association Inc. (PIPPA) on Tuesday, Petilla said that power generators can no longer provide assurance of additions to their capacity between now until early part of 2016.

“I just talked to PIPPA and I told them, if you have capacity to show, then bring out those capacities now… but even them, they cannot guarantee,” he said.

“The power generators cannot commit because they still have issues with secondary cap (with the Wholesale Electricity Spot Market) and even with permitting… but if we have emergency powers, we can cut short most of the processes because there is really an emergency,” Petilla likewise pointed out.

He emphasized that a state of national emergency should be declared, with regard to the dwindling power supply; otherwise, “brownouts in 2015…will be inevitable.”

He added that “if there are people who are not inclined to this, the only thing I can say is: I am willing to sit down with them and listen to their options.”

Aquino, whose is currently under fire for his unconstitutional Development Acceleration Program (DAP), is now being slammed by critics as the potential “prince of darkness” should his administration come to a darkened end in June 2016 despite his present frantic “quick fix” efforts.