• Energy sees solutions to looming Luzon crisis

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    The Department of Energy (DoE) has started looking for solutions to prevent the worst-case scenario where there would be more than an hour of power interruptions during peaking hours in Luzon, possibly two years from now.

    Energy Secretary Jericho Petilla said that while everyone is hoping that the power supply in Luzon will be sustained, the DoE is actually worried that the supply may not actually be enough to meet the power demand in 2015.

    He said that the power supply in Luzon by 2015 may not be enough to cater to the growing rate of the demand.

    “The worst-case scenario is an hour to two [of power interruption]on the peaking hours and the peaking hours that we have is 11 a.m. [in the morning], 2 p.m. [in the afternoon]and 7 p.m. [in the evening],” Petilla said, specifying that those are the hours where people in Luzon consume more electricity.

    He also said that although a lot of players in the energy sector have pledged to build more power plants, they may not be able to complete the construction of these new facilities as early as 2015.

    “Yung iba magsisimula na ngayon [some companies have started building plants]but that will not be finished three years from now. So yung hinahabol ko is yung two years from now, 2015. Kasi kahit anong gawin mo, kahit magtuktok ka man ngayon, hindi matatapos ’yan [because whatever efforts you make, the plants will not be completed just like that],” Petilla said.

    However, Petilla assured that the energy department is working on some solutions to prevent the looming power shortage in Luzon.

    “But that’s [power shortage in Luzon is]not going to happen also. The good thing about long-term planning is if you already know the problem, you actually scavenge for every possible resource that you can have and that’s what we’re doing right now,” he said.

    According to him, one solution that the energy department has come up with is to push for the power reserve market, which is still being finalized with the Philippine Electricity Market Corp. and Energy Regulatory Commission.

    Petilla further said that should there be power shortages in Luzon, it will only be for the short term because the plants that are undergoing construction right now will be finished in the next three years.

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