PIPPA says additional capacities needed to curb power crisis


The Philippine Independent Power Producers Association Inc. (PIPPA) says that additional capacities are needed in order to curb the alarming power crisis. 

However, PIPPA emphasizes that new investments will only materialize if they are backed by equitable and favorable policies for capital-intensive ventures.

In an attempt to enable investors to operate in a financially viable manner, the group called for improvements to the current regulatory framework concerning merchant plants, government permits, price caps, and the reserve market, said Manila Bulletin in its report.

PIPPA President and Executive Director Atty. Anne Montelibano said that all kinds of power capacities are necessary, whether baseload, mid-merit, or peaking. Montelibano added that peaking is most crucial during summer when demands escalate.

The executive director also explained that the focus should not be on the type of technology needed, but rather the capacity it would produce, and as of this moment, a number of generators are needed in order to catch up to the demand.

PIPPA also has a pending petition with the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) on the suggested abolition of the secondary price cap, amounting to Php 6.245 per kilowatt hour (kWh), which is currently applied at the Wholesale Electricity Spot Market (WESM).

The secondary price cap would only be triggered once price spikes are in contrast with the recommended thresholds.

PIPPA also advocated for the removal of the maintenance outage caps that are being applied to different technologies, as part of the revised regulations on dependability indices for power plant operations in the energy industry.

As for the limited power supply that pushed the Luzon and Visayas grids to their limit, the organization said that most of the 19 power plants in the Luzon grid that went on outage were hydro plants, which transpired as water levels are usually low during summer.