Summer still months away but DOE chief already worries over power supply

Summer still months away but DOE chief already worries over power supply

MANILA, Philippines — Even if the next hot or dry season in the country is still months away, Energy Secretary Raphael Lotilla is already expressing worry over the nation’s summer power reserve.

During the Senate committee on energy’s hearing on Wednesday, Lotilla assured senators of sufficient electricity supply until February 2023.

But he also said he is starting to feel concerned about the power stock by next year’s summer months.

“Right now, we have enough reserves for the next six months, the cooler months. So hopefully, no major breakdowns of plants,” Lotilla said.

“But summer months, I have to tell you that I’m beginning to have also — I’m not going to say nightmares but — concerns about that, and we will do our best precisely to address this stranded power out there,” he added.

READ: Summer is coming, and with it comes power shortage

Senator Sherwin Gatchalian, chair of the Senate committee on energy in the last Congress, noted that around 22 red alerts on power supply and 154 yellow alerts were raised from 2016 to 2021 by the National Grid Corporation  of the Philippines.

Red alert is hoisted when power supply is lacking and may lead to outages while a yellow alert means that rotational brownouts may or may not occur.

READ: Luzon grid placed under red alert causing power outages

Current Senate energy panel head Senator Raffy Tulfo earlier sought an inquiry into “endless” power outages and rising cost of electricity. On Wednesday, he urged the Department of Energy to resolve the issue.

To this, Lotilla replied with a commitment to work with the Senate to address the matter.