Sufficient power this year but 2023 will be difficult – DoE

The Department of Energy on Monday assured that the country has sufficient supply for the rest of the year, but it warned that consumers may experience power interruptions next year due to thin reserves, especially in summer months when demand is historically higher.

“For 2023, the situation is going to be difficult, especially in the summer months, assuming that the Ilijan plant will be unavailable. (The forecast) shows several yellow alerts and the possibility of red alerts in 2023,” Energy Secretary Raphael Perpetuo Lotilla said during the 2022 EJAP Infrastructure Forum co-presented by MPIC and PLDT.

“Capacity usually falls in May and June because of course there are hydropower plants in Luzon that are unable to deliver at this particular point,” he added.

DoE data

Based on DoE data, the country’s year-to-date peak demand is 93 percent higher than last year. Such data also noted that on-grid areas remain heavily reliant on fossil fuels, while off-grid islands still depend on oil-based power plants.

Lotilla also pointed out that in the remaining months of 2022, there will still be a likelihood of yellow, if not red alerts.

“If we look at the power outlook for the third and fourth quarters, taking into account the unplanned outages of power plants that significantly depleted the power supply of the grid, including the loss of the 1,200 MW from the Ilijan power plant, there will be thin reserves.

Yellow alerts

It will be sufficient but with the possibility of yellow alerts during August and October in this scenario. Hopefully in October, the yellow alerts are not going to be triggered,” the Energy chief explained.

According to its operator, the 1,200-megawatt gas-fired Ilijan plant is scheduled to resume operations by February next year to help ramp up supply in Luzon.

To bridge the gap between power supply and demand, Lotilla said the government will fast-track the development of indigenous resources such as renewable energy to generate additional reserves.

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