THERE will be no power crisis in Mindanao despite the El Niño phenomenon which will bring dry spell and hotter air temperature in the coming months, according to the national coordinator of the Philippine Movement of Climate Justice (PMCJ).
“In relation to the impact of El Niño in Mindanao and will it create a power crises, for this year, I think it will not,” Ian Rivera, PMCJ national coordinator, said during a luncheon talakayan last Friday, March 29.
According to Rivera, the reason is because Mindanao is oversubscribed power plants run on coal. He added that this also explains why the prices of electricity in Mindanao is very expensive.
“Kapag nag oversubscribe, meaning, based on the demand sobra ang tinayo na supply. But it doesn’t mean na yung kinonsyum ay yun lang ang binabayaran. It’s how much is the conducted all the power, yun ang nababayaran,” Rivera said.
(When power distributors oversubscribe, that means there are overflowing suppliers constructed. But it doesn’t mean that what was consumed, it’s what being paid. It is how much power being conducted, that’s what is being paid)
“So the power will be stable. But you have another problem because you will be paying high prices of electricity,” he added.
However, lawyer Dionel Albina, the University of Science and Technology of the Southern Philippines’ (USTP) director for Innovations and Technology Solutions, said that electric companies that uses hydro power will be affected by El Niño.
“One or the other meron pa ring (there will still be) indirect effects because of this deficiency, it might be that they have to add additional non-hydro assets and that means higher rates,” Albina said.
“As to whether how big is the impact, that would probably... we’ll just wait and see,” he added.
According to the El Niño advisory of the Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) issued on March 22, the weak El Niño may result in a prolonged dry-spell and hotter air temperatures in the coming months, possibly until August in some areas in the country.
Based on its outlook by end of April 2019, 39 percent of the country will likely experience dry spell including Northern Mindanao provinces such as Bukidnon, Camiguin, Lanao del Norte and Misamis Oriental.
Misamis Occidental will likely experience drought in April and May.