THE Department of Energy (DOE) on Friday debunked claims made by Sen. Sergio Osmeña 3rd that there would be widespread power outages in 2015, saying the country has enough power capacity for next year.
Energy Secretary Carlos Jericho Petilla said the country’s energy capacity is more than enough for the off-peak months and will remain sufficient during the summer or peak months.
Petilla said, in fact, the country’s energy outlook will even improve in 2015 compared with this year.
“Our outlook for 2015 is better than 2014,” Petilla told a radio interview, adding that an additional 1,600 megawatts will go on-stream in 2015 and 2016.
Petilla gave the assurance after Osmeña expressed fears that there would be pervasive outages next year because of the slow pace of construction of additional power plants.
Osmeña said the administration of President Benigno Aquino 3rd can no longer blame the previous administration should massive outages occur next year because it is already the fifth year of Aquino’s term and power plants usually take a maximum of five years to be completed.
The energy chief said the senator might have different information about the country’s power situation but that as far as the DOE is concerned, things are under control.
Petilla also pointed out that the Philippines’ energy supply is now dependent on the private sector as mandated by law. He added that the creation of power plants has already been delegated to the private sector.
“We already delegated to the private sector the creation of power plants and the DOE’s role is simply to coordinate, not to create power plants, to call on the private sector if they encounter any problems,” he said.
As for the power situation in Mindanao, the DOE said it continues to push for short- and long-term measures to address the problem. One such option is the resumption of an enhanced Interim Mindanao Electricity Market (IMEM) allowing for re-nomination three hours before the actual trading interval.
According to the DOE, this gives electric cooperatives the flexibility to adjust their IMEM exposure by allowing them to factor in the actual available output of their power providers, and the demand requirements for the particular trading hour.
This is an improvement from the previous day-ahead market for the management of all available power supply in the region, the DOE said.