THE private sector has laid down proposals to alleviate possible power shortages in the next 30 days up to the next decade, including expanding the ILP coverage, energy efficiency measures, and contracting by NGCP of additional reserve power and linking with still-unconnected power plants.
According to the Management Association of the Philippines (MAP), the distribution utilities (DUs) and electric cooperatives (ECs) in major areas should prepare for or initiate their respective Interruptible Load Program (ILP) throughout their franchise areas.
ILP works by asking companies to use their own generating facilities when power is in short supply and reserves. This helps mitigate the energy supply deficiency in the country.
As of end-2021, there are 124 companies with an aggregate de-loading capability of 563 MW that were enrolled in the ILP of the Manila Electric Company (Meralco). May is the typical month when demand peaks in the Meralco service area. From February to May, demand historically rises around 18 percent, according to Meralco head of utility economics Lawrence Fernandez.
For electricity users, MAP suggested that they adopt Energy Efficiency measures to save energy in their respective households, offices, and businesses. “This practice can be done by everybody and reduce the power demand immediately,” it added.
NGCP, in turn, should urgently contract additional reserve power and link with power plants that are not yet connected, the group suggested.
The Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC), meanwhile, should temporarily suspend the Secondary Price Cap (SPC) at the Wholesale Electricity Spot Market (WESM). Every two months, MAP suggested that the ERC review the status.
“The government should treat the protection and sustainability of the country’s energy infrastructure as a national security concern and thus increase the priority on longer-term development,” MAP said, adding that, “it is imperative to develop an energy transition plan that places the Filipino and the Philippine context at its center, adheres to the key principles of climate equity and energy security, and supports the fulfilment of the country’s development goals.”
More importantly, the government and the private sector must craft power generation-specific plans to stimulate the building of new generation capacity and avert possible supply gaps in the next 10 years.