Palace: No looming power crisis-A A +A
Friday, June 29, 2012
PRESIDENTIAL Communications Operations Office Secretary Sonny Coloma said there is no national power shortage expected in the near future.
Coloma said that according to Department of Energy Secretary Jose Rene Almendras, base load needs and requirements are adequately supplied by existing power plants.
The Malacañang spokesman made the assurance after the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) issued a “yellow alert” notice to its Luzon grid customers Saturday due to reduced generation.
Available capacity was at 7,727 megawatts (MW) while actual peak demand at 10 a.m. was at 7,300 MW. The unavailability and the reduced capability of certain power plants led to a situation where the available reserves were insufficient to meet the grid’s required contingency of 647 MW, NGCP reported.
Coloma said the Aquino administration is geared toward tapping of new power sources amid climate change challenging power producers to tap reliable but cleaner sources to meet growing demands.
Power sources often affected by climate change especially during the dry season are hydroelectric power plants supplying power in Luzon and Mindanao, the official said.
However, Coloma stressed that with additional plants being built by several power producers, the base load needs of many high power consuming areas will be significantly addressed in the next few years.
He said Almendras was only projecting future power needs, stating the country will need two to three years to build up its power supply with more sources being tapped like clean coal technology, hydroelectric power and geothermal power sources in the country.
Although hydroelectric power sources in Luzon and Mindanao are greatly affected by climate change, Coloma said the country’s power base load is completely reliable with expected reinforcements from new plants coupled with energy conservation measures will secure the country’s power supply.
“People today are very mindful of energy conservation measures and in preserving valuable resources,” he said.
The Palace spokesman added that when additional power sources will be in place in the next two to three years, enough supply will be achieved by 2015.
Meanwhile, NGCP spokesperson Cynthia Alabanza said they are closely monitoring the situation and is committed to avert, or at least minimize, power interruptions.
“NGCP does not control power supply but it is doing its best to mitigate the situation in its capacity as the power system operator,” she said.
NGCP, as system operator, issues Grid Operation Notices to grid users. “Red alert” refers to the system condition when the contingency reserve is zero or a generation deficiency exists, while a “yellow alert” is a system condition where the total of all reserves is less than the capacity of the largest plant online, which for the Luzon grid, is 647 MW. (JM Agreda)
Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on June 29, 2012.