Hontiveros urge DOE, NGCP, ERC to address continuous power shortage

Sen-Risa-Hontiveros

Senator Risa Hontiveros on Wednesday urged the Department of Energy (DOE), the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC), and the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) to address the country’s power shortages.

Hontiveros voiced her frustration over the ongoing “failure” to resolve the worsening energy issues, particularly during the summer months when their mandates include ensuring sufficient supply and system reliability.

“Parang kulang sa energy ang mismong Department of Energy at puro kabig naman ang NGCP. DOE’s mandate demands foresight and competence to ensure adequacy of current and future power supply while the NGCP secures the whole system from disturbances, including unplanned and forced outages. Proactive tayo dapat,” Hontiveros said.

“They cannot go on giving us nothing. Kumilos naman sila,” she added.

Hontiveros strongly suggested that the DOE readopt a “proven industry-standard method” previously used before the Electric Power Industry Reform Act (EPIRA) was implemented.

“Energy experts I have spoken with say that the DOE is so much better off using computations through loss of load probability (LOLP), and it is one they are already familiar with. LOLP has a distinct advantage when it comes to forecasting power supply availability. Right now, the agency is computing with a fixed 25 [percent] reserve, but it hasn’t been reliable, especially during this summer season,” Hontiveros explained.

The LOLP measures the reliability performance of the power supply system by predicting the number of days when a brownout might occur annually.

“Kung ginamit lang ng DOE ang LOLP, nalaman sana nito ang kinakailangang dagdag na capacity para hindi lalagpas sa isang araw kada taon ang may brownout imbes na halos araw-araw may yellow at red alert. DOE must reevaluate their methodology,” Hontiveros said.

Hontiveros encouraged the DOE to consult experts who could help reimplement the LOLP in planning the country’s power supply.

“Hindi sapat magdasal para hindi mag-shut down ang mga power plants natin, kailangang kumilos ang DOE batay sa probabilidad at pleksibilidad na maaring gawin in anticipation of a crisis situation,” Hontiveros said. “Dapat real planning for real development. Sabi nga, nasa Diyos ang awa, nasa tao ang gawa.”

Hontiveros also reiterated her call for the NGCP to prioritize system security over maximizing dividends. She cited April data from TransCo indicating that NGCP contracted only 46% of regulating reserves, 47% for contingency reserves, and 28% dispatchable reserves.

“Bakit hindi 100%? Pareho din lang ba sila sa DOE na nagdadasal na walang titirik na planta along the way?” Hontiveros asked.



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