THE country will have a thin power supply next year in the midst of the prolonged El Niño phenomenon, which is expected to last until February 2016.
Department of Energy OIC Zenaida Monsada made the disclosure when she presented her 2016 budget proposal of P1.8 billion before the House Appropriations Committee.
Monsada noted that while the projected power supply of 13,300 MW (megawatts) for 2016, an election year, would exceed the demand at 12,000 MW, this forecast could change because of the prolonged El Niño.
“It would be difficult to say categorically that we won’t have any brownout[s]because we still have to factor El Niño and our dams being of shared use for agriculture, electricity, drinking water and household consumption. We will have a new set of projections because of the El Niño…find out how extensive [it would be], which areas are going to be affected,” Monsada pointed out.
While the Ambuklao dam in Benguet is gaining ground, Monsada lamented that the supply in Angat dam—the main source of water supply in Metro Manila—is yet to pick up.
“We still have rains so most of our dams are filled. The indication is that Luzon and Visayas won’t be affected that much. We see Mindanao being affected worse by the end of the year and the first quarter of next year,” Monsada added.
Per government records, Luzon’s power supply for 2016 is at 9,800 MW against an 8,900 MW demand, while Visayas has a projected power supply of 1,800 MW against a 1,600 MW demand.
Mindanao, on the other hand, has a projected 2016 power supply of 1,700 MW against a demand of 1,500 MW.
“Mindanao could be impacted with El Niño because it of its heavy reliance on hydro energy sources. But for Luzon, we’ll be okay provided there’s no unforseen forced outages. Malampaya is well because of the installation of its compression platform, and Mindanao coal plants are expected to be of service soon. We see that we’ll have enough, considering the historical performances [of the power plants],” Monsada said.
“Overall, the supply, including the reserves, can meet the demand,” Monsada added.