Gatchalian says DOE must ensure reliable power supply for dry season
MANILA, Philippines — Senator Sherwin Gatchalian wants to look into the initiatives of energy agencies and stakeholders and make sure that electric power supply during the dry season will be reliable, secure, and affordable.
The senator said on Thursday that he has filed a resolution calling for an inquiry, noting that during the dry season in the country, peak demand for electricity spikes by 5.45 percent in Luzon and 3.19 percent in the Visayas.
This is because of the increased use of refrigerators and air conditioning units.
While there is enough power at present, the Department of Energy (DOE) had earlier warned of possible brownouts in Luzon on the last week of April and the third week of May.
Gatchalian said the DOE, as well as power generators and stakeholders, should have learned their past lessons and prepare for contingency measures to prevent power interruptions.
“Bakit kelangan paulit-ulit nating paalalahanan si Juan de la Cruz na maghanda sa posibilidad na magkakaroon ng brownout ngayong summer?” Gatchalian, who chairs the Senate committee on energy, said in a statement.
(Why is it that Filipinos are constantly reminded of preparing for possible brownouts this 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,” he added.
(The DOE, power generators and all stakeholders should have learned from past incidents and we are expecting from them that they have prepared contingency measures to avoid power interruptions.)
The senator urged the DOE to strictly monitor power generation companies and ensure that there will be no forced or unplanned shutdowns of power plants.
Any forced and unplanned power plant shutdown could lead to thinning of power reserves and possibly the hoisting of yellow and red alerts.
A red alert is raised 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.
In the long term, the DOE must also 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, he added.
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.
Edited by MUF
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