Senator Win Gatchalian has filed a resolution to look into the initiatives of all energy agencies and stakeholders in ensuring the reliability, security and affordability of electric power supply during the summer season.
Gatchalian said that during summer, peak demand increases by 5.45% in Luzon and 3.19% in Visayas because of heightened use of refrigerators and air conditioners. Any forced and unplanned power plant shutdown at this time leads to thinning of reserves and possibly yellow and red alerts resulting to brownouts. A red alert is called when the excess power supply in power grids is insufficient and may result in rotational brownouts. A yellow alert is declared when excess power supplies are low but may not lead to power outages.
While there is enough power at present, the Department of Energy (DOE) earlier warned of possible brownouts in Luzon on the last week of April and third week of May. Based on the DOE’s forecast, the peak demand for Luzon this year could hit 12,285 megawatts (MW) and that an additional capacity of 256 megawatts to 821 MW is needed to avoid a red alert status.
“Bakit kelangan paulit-ulit nating paalalahanan si Juan de la Cruz na maghanda sa posibilidad na magkakaroon ng brownout ngayong summer? Dapat natuto na ang DOE, power generators at lahat ng stakeholders sa mga insidente ng brownout sa mga nakalipas na mga taon at inaasahan natin na mayroon na silang contingency measures upang maiwasan ang power interruption ngayong summer,” the lawmaker said.
Gatchalian urges the DOE to strictly monitor power generation companies and ensure that there will be no forced or unplanned outages, especially this upcoming summer.
The Chairman of the Senate Energy Committee said that for the long term, the DOE must prioritize the construction of more power generation plants in the country to ease any possible tightness in supply in the future, such as adding capacity for a span of 10 years to meet more than the electricity demand.
Gatchalian pointed out that the DOE can also maximize the full potential of the Energy Virtual One Stop Shop (EVOSS) Law to reduce red tape, simplify regulations and streamline business processes of power generation, transmission, and distribution projects in the country.