DOE assures enough power during summer as El Nino peaks
The Department of Energy (DOE) on Monday said there will be enough power supply during summer despite heightened demand and expected drought from the El Nino weather phenomenon.
"From the supply side, we see that there will be sufficient supply (of electricity) so there will be no issues for March to June," DOE spokesperson and Undersecretary Felix William Fuentebella said in a press conference.
Assistant Energy Secretary Redentor Delola said they are expecting normal conditions in Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao as the grid remains stable.
The energy department's announcement is in line with the weather bureau's recent advisory on the El Nino phenomenon, which will bring hotter and drier temperatures in the first quarter and may affect 47 provinces.
"[The temperature based on Pagasa (Philippine Atmospheric,l Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration) forecast) will be as high as 40.7 degrees by the end of May," Analiza Solis, officer-in-charge of Pagasa's climate monitoring and prediction section told The Daily Manila Shimbun in a phone interview.
According to Solis, March to May is the predicted peak of El Nino. "May is the hottest (month, which will bring) around 39.5 degrees extreme temperature in the Luzon area. For Visayas and Mindanao, temperature (can reach) as high as 38.3 degrees," she added.
"We expect (the increase in demand] to occur in the month of May so we're really [focusing on that month)," Delola said, adding they are expecting additional 150 megawatts to 455 megawatts from March to April.
The energy department said the Luzon grid is forecast to have a peak demand of 14,000 megawatts in May. On the other hand, November and December will be the months for peak demand in Visayas with 2,2999 megawatts and in Mindanao with 2,130 megawatts.
"We can say that we are very confident that there will be no issue in the power supply of Luzon, even if there will be (power) outrages," Delola said.
"Mindanao is the most stable in terms of supply. (Residents) may sleep soundly since there's no expected supply issues because of the sufficient reserves," he added.
Delola assured that the department will control power outrages during those four months. "On the supply side, in terms of monitoring function of DOE, we will as much as possible ensure that power plants will have minimal outrages," he said.
DOE said power outrages will also be minimised especially during the 2019 national and local polls.
Fuentebella advised consumers to be conscious with the energy efficiency and to follow the DOE's energy conservation campaign.
"We advise (the consumers) to set the airconditioner's thermostat on 25 or 24 degrees only. Don't set it in 18 degrees because it will make the energy bill higher and the energy consumption will also increase," he said. Cristina Eloisa Baclig/DMS