Energy Secretary Raphael Lotilla warns that the country may face a difficult power supply situation throughout the first six months of next year.
“The first half of the next year will be difficult and we need every source of power in order to bridge that period,” Lotilla said in a Senate briefing last week.
“The first quarter will still be a cool quarter. The difficult period is when the hot months come in,” he said.
The Department of Energy had earlier said delays in some liquefied natural gas projects as well as the inability of Malampaya to produce more gas would likely have an impact on the country’s summer power supply. Lotilla said the agency has been working with all parties to not only ensure a stable power supply, but also to address transmission problems.
“We also have some solar power plants that are coming onstream, also toward the first quarter of next year, and that also requires transmission line and substation access in order to be utilized. So that will help address some of these things,” the energy chief said.
“For Visayas and Mindanao, we hope that the National Grid Corp. will be on time in energizing the Mindanao to Visayas interconnection because from the 2023 scenarios we have presented, there would be at least 400 MW to 800 MW potential capacity that would be stranded in Mindanao,” he added.
The DOE has already cited the importance of energy efficiency and conservation in order to help address potential shortages. It is also encouraging own-use facilities to be put up by companies.
The problem of thin power reserves that occur during the dry season, when temperatures are higher and demand soars, has been hounding the country for decades, despite the obviousness of the solutions. As we yet again brace ourselves by preparing our homes, offices and factories to be energy efficient and to conserve power in order to prevent rolling blackouts, while at the same time investing in backup generators just in case, the DOE and government really needs to prevent further shortfalls in the future through proper planning and timely execution of clean and green power projects that will be necessary for the progress of this country.*