Congressman raises power shortage concerns due to El Niño


Concerns are being raised over a potential power shortage in mainland Luzon due to an extended dry spell linked to the El Niño phenomenon. 

The Manila Standard reported that Congressman Marvin Rillo urged the House Committee on Energy to examine the impact of below-normal rainfall on hydroelectric power plants as it contributes to around 13.9% of Luzon’s dependable generating capacity. 

Rillo continued by saying that the Luzon grid receives 2,416 megawatts (MW) from hydroelectric power facilities.

The concerns raised about El Niño intensifying came about because the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) forewarned that the phenomenon could lead to dry conditions in Metro Manila and a drought in Cavite by the end of December. 

At least 18 provinces in Luzon are expected to experience a dry spell, with hydroelectric power plants, contributing 2,416 megawatts to the Luzon grid, dependent on normal rainfall conditions for electricity production. 

A dry condition is defined as two months in which there was less rainfall than usual or between 21% and 60% of the average amount. Meanwhile, three months in a row with significantly less rainfall than usual was referred to as a drought. 

Data by the Department of Energy (DOE) highlighted the Luzon grid’s network of at least 13 hydroelectric power plants and their dependable generating capacities namely Kalayaan PSPP with 720 MW, San Roque with 404 MW, Magat with 345.6 MW, Casecnan with 150 MW, and Binga with 138 MW. 

Rillo emphasized that these plants contribute 13.9% of Luzon’s dependable generating capacity.