Power supply crunch possible during May 2022 elections, group says

Davinci Maru, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Feb 11 2022 01:52 PM

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MANILA—A climate and energy policy group has projected a possible electricity shortfall across the Luzon grid during the summer months, especially during the weeks leading up to and immediately after the May 2022 elections.

Alberto Dalusung III, energy transition advisor of Institute of Climate and Sustainable Cities, said his group ran a range of scenarios using data from the Department of Energy and National Grid Corporation of the Philippines.

"If we look at what we call our conservative scenario, we think that we will fall into what is called red alert status," he told ANC's "Rundown" Friday.

"It means that we don't have enough capacity for the load and a certain reserve margin and because of that, there might be blackouts in the grid during that period."

In the group's pessimistic scenario, Dalusung said the ICSC was even more convinced there would be shortfall in electricity supply and power rates would be higher.

To address a possible deficit in the country’s electricity supply, Filipinos could reduce consumption during critical hours of election day, he said.

Dalusung said companies could also reduce their consumption by running their own generator sets or employ what he called voluntary load curtailment.

He also noted that even the grid operator saw thin reserves in weeks before and after elections in its optimistic scenario.

"We continue to monitor the situation. We're not in any red alert or yellow alert status but I think it's important for us to file the report because there is a need for the government, companies, and individuals to be aware of the situation so that things will be done to avert that kind of shortfall," Dalusung said.

The NGCP has said energy supply during the May 9 elections would be enough but power outages may happen due to unforeseen circumstances. 

The hot weather, unscheduled maintenance, and forced outages could affect the power supply on that day, said NGCP spokesperson Cynthia Alabanza told TeleRadyo.

In June 2021, the grid operator placed the Luzon grid under red alert supposedly due to supply issues amid high power demand due to intense hot weather in the country.