Prices at the electricity spot market rose in June to an average of P3.25 per kilowatt-hour from P2.19 per kWh in May on higher demand and more frequent power plant outages, according to the Independent Electricity Market Operator of the Philippines.
IEMOP chief operating officer Robinson Descanzo said the average demand at the Wholesale Electricity Spot Market, the country’s trading floor of electricity, climbed in June to 12,611 megawatts from 11,567 MW in May.
“Peak demand of June is 12,611 MW, which is much higher than 11,567 MW [for May], or roughly 1,000 MW higher. One reason [there was] higher demand in June vs. May is because this is the time the ECQ [enhanced community quarantine] was lifted and we went into GCQ [general community quarantine] and some of the establishments, commercial and industrial resumed operations,” Descanzo said during a briefing after the market participants’ forum.
“The main driver is the increase in demand and also the month of June particularly second week is the period when we had price spikes because aside from the higher peak demand, there were many generators who were on forced outage and maintenance outage during this time,” he said.
Average power supply in June slightly increased to 13,794 MW from 13,245 MW in May.
IEMOP reported that total energy production from January to May hit 31.850 terrawatt-hours versus the recorded 33.633 tWh in the same period in 2019.
Coal and natural gas plants accounted for more than three-fourths of the generation mix during the period.
“Total generation for January to February 2020, which was before the onset of the pandemic, was higher by 6.5 percent at 13.306 tWh compared to same period last year. However, during the ECQ, the demand consumption dropped significantly,” IEMOP said in its report.
Total generation from March to May declined by 12.3 percent to 18.543 tWh from the same period last year.
IEMOP said system demand particularly dipped from March 16 to May 15 because of the limited operations of establishments amid the implementation of the ECQ.
It said the average price during the ECQ period was around 1.55 per kWh on ample supply margin. However, multiple price spikes were observed in May following the forced outages of several power plants.
“Upon the shift from ECQ to GCQ on May 16, the demand gradually increased. The average demand was around 10,006 MW from May 16 to June 25,” it said.