Power demand expected to spike, though still less than pre-pandemic levels


Demand for electricity is projected to spike once again this summer, though still lower than pre-pandemic levels, according to the Independent Electricity Market Operator of the Philippines (IEMOP).

Based on IEMOP’s forecast, peak demand levels in March, April, May, and June would reach 11,426 megawatts (MW), 11,821MW, 12,216MW, and 12,611MW, respectively. Peak demand in June 2019 stood at 13,450MW.

IEMOP is the operator of the Wholesale Electricity Spot Market (WESM).

IEMOP manager for pricing valuation and analysis John Paul Grayda explained that the spot market operator just decided to match the projected power demand for this June with the actual demand last June in light of the La Nina phenomenon, which is expected to bring in more rains. It was also in June 2020 that the general community quarantine was first implemented in Metro Manila.

Actual demand levels in April and May 2020 stood at 10,033MW and 11,567, respectively.

Last January and February, the recorded peak demand only stood at 11,015MW and 11,485MW, respectively.

IEMOP COO Robinson Descanzo said the demand increase isn’t a cause for concern because power supply will be sufficient. The June 2021 forecasted power demand would also be enough to cover for the 15,267MW projected supply for the month.

The forecast only applies to Luzon and Visayas because WESM is only expected to begin operations in Mindanao on June 26.