THE Philippine Electricity Market Corporation (PEMC) reported low prices in the spot market in the last quarter of 2014.
According to PEMC, the low prices in the Wholesale Electricity Spot Market (WESM) were caused by the decrease in demand brought about by cooler temperatures.
It likewise reported low prices from March 2015 to mid-May 2015 because of increase in supply when generating plants on scheduled maintenance outage went back online,
offsetting the unavailability of Malampaya natural gas facility.
“The lower prices from March to May 2015 were able to offset the slight uptick in prices in January to February of the same year, as a result of a more managed schedule of maintenance outages,” the market operator said.
For the first half of 2015, energy purchased from the spot market was at P5.245 per kilowatt-hour (kWh), lower than the P6.639/kWh of the same period in 2014.
On its ninth year of operations, the WESM saw a record system high peak demand of 10,342 megawatts (MW).
While supply was generally affected by the planned or forced outages of some generating units, the Department of Energy’s (DOE) vigilant efforts in promoting proper scheduling of maintenance outages proved successful, PEMC said, with generators able to offer a maximum of 10,866 MW.
Following the supply and price problems of November and December 2013, the WESM Tripartite Committee implemented an offer price cap of P32/kWh starting January 2014 in an effort to temper high prices in the electricity spot market.
Since the primary cap could not fully capture incidents of sustained clearing of high spot prices, a secondary cap mechanism was put in place by the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) as a pre-emptive measure to help limit recurring occasions of high prices in the WESM.
PEMC president Melinda L. Ocampo said the agency is resolved to fully realize the objectives of the Electric Power Industry Reform Act (Epira) in promoting transparency in electricity pricing and provide a level playing field to all electric power industry participants.
“With the robust enforcement and compliance framework present in the spot market, we assure everyone that competition thrives in the market where all players are encouraged to abide with the WESM Rules and Manuals,” said Ocampo.
PEMC, she added, is relentless in its efforts to ensure that WESM will work for every Filipino in achieving a reliable and affordable supply of electric power.