Tuesday, May 10, 2016

DOE Readies Policy Recommendations for Next Administration

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The efforts and preparations of the Department of Energy (DOE) and the members of the Power Task Force Election (PTFE) have ensured adequate, stable and reliable electricity supply for the critical period this national and local elections.

“There was no major power problem that occurred before and during this election, and we are thankful for the Task Force members for ensuring the provision of adequate supply of electricity all throughout,” said Energy Secretary Zenaida Y. Monsada in a press briefing in Ortigas this afternoon. However, she emphasized that the PTFE shifts its focus on ensuring power supply to the canvassing centers and remaining voting precincts.

Sec. Monsada also extends her gratitude and appreciation for the collaborative efforts of the PTFE Members composed of the DOE, National Power Corporation (NPC), National Transmission Corporation (TRANSCO), National Electrification Administration (NEA), National Grid Corp. of the Philippines (NGCP) and its satellite centers, Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management Corp. (PSALM), Philippine Electricity Market Corp. (PEMC), the Manila Electric Company (MERALCO) and other Distribution Utilities (DUs), Philippine Rural Electric Cooperative Association (PHILRECA), Philippine Federation of Electric Cooperatives (PHILFECO), Philippine Electric Plant Owners Association (PEPOA), Philippine Independent Power Producers Association (PIPPA), Retail Electricity Suppliers Association (RESA), and other supporting organizations in ensuring the delivery of power supply across the country.

Similar to yesterday, Sec. Monsada reported that all grids (Luzon, Visayas, & Mindanao) remained in normal state as of 2:00 p.m. today (May 10, 2016). The nation’s grid power situation stood at:

System Capacity (MW)
Demand (MW)
9, 586
Gross Reserve (MW)
Peak Demand Time

While the Visayas grid registered lower system capacity, the Luzon grid supported power supply through the high voltage direct current (HVDC) line interconnecting the two transmission systems.

In Mindanao, the Agus-Pulangi hydro complexes are still running at 90 cubic meters per second, which resulted in higher capacity output. Additionally, new power plants are expected to come in between June and September to augment the power supply in Mindanao region.

In the same briefing, MERALCO reported that their redundant preparations has improved their emergency response operations despite the unintended circumstances, such as fire incident in Tayabas, Quezon and 11 load side problems which mostly occurred in the National Capital Region.

MERALCO also stressed that sharing of best practices with the Visayas Electric Company (VECO), Davao Light and Power Company (DLPC) and electric cooperatives (ECs) around the country, as part of the election preparations, also helped in improving respond to these problems by deploying their accredited and contracted electricians, and providing standby generator sets to strategic areas. Moreover, the PTFE reminder to avoid octopus wiring, check installations (e.g., breakers and outlets), and dodge electricity overloading prevented load problems.

On another note, as negotiations continues with claimants and landowners, the Inter-Agency Task Force on Securing Energy Facilities (IATFSEF) is still lobbying for the passage of a binding law to prohibit any activities compromising the integrity of the grid regarding the obstructions beneath the transmission facilities, such as vegetation and structures. This will form part of the recommendations of the DOE for the incoming administration said Sec. Monsada.

“Renewable Energy is high on the agenda to maintain the country’s momentum,” Sec. Monsada stressed. She continued that “we have been working on inputs for a sound decision, so that the next administration has a solid basis for decision-making or direction with the updating the Philippine Energy Plan, Power Development Plan, Transmission Development Plan, and Distribution Development Plan.”

Other policy recommendations that will be provided for the next administration include matters pertaining to the Electric Power Industry Reform Act, such as, the Retail Competition and Open Access, Competitive Selection Process for power supply contracts, establishment of Wholesale Electricity Spot Market in Mindanao, Renewable Portfolio Standards, RE Market, and the Green Energy Option. Furthermore, the DOE would also push for the 30-30-30 balanced energy mix (RE, Coal, and Gas), wherein the remaining 10 would include an open option for nuclear energy and other alternative energy.

For the fuel sector, Sec. Monsada said she hopes “to strengthen implementation of the Retail Rules to fully eliminate the “bote-bote” scheme, and illegal refilling of liquefied petroleum product to deliver an orderly competition.” Finally, the DOE would recommend energy efficiency policies starting with energy labeling for industries and transportation.

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