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Philippines
Thursday, May 30, 2024

Brace for power crisis

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No, we’re not talking of a possible palace putsch or power grab, but of an imminent electricity shortfall in Luzon and the Visayas.

The culprit?

More than 30 power plants are running below capacity due to the searing summer heat exacerbated by the El Niño dry spell.

The majority of power plants that have gone offline, we’re told, are hydropower plants due to low water levels caused by the weather phenomenon.

Based on historical data, electricity consumption rises during the summer season. For this year, this demand is seen to surge as households increase the use of cooling appliances because of the El Niño phenomenon.

President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. has therefore urged the public to adopt energy-saving measures to cut electricity consumption as power supply problems continue to hound the country’s two main islands. He also instructed the Department of Energy to “closely monitor and coordinate with all stakeholders to address the situation.”

Marcos stressed that amid the recent red and yellow alerts in the Luzon and Visayas grids, “it is crucial that we all work together to ensure a stable power supply in the coming days.”

He has directed all government offices to set the standard in conserving energy and minimizing power consumption and for the public to adopt energy-efficient practices.

The President’s call comes close on the heels of a similar appeal by the Department of Energy for electricity end-users to conserve energy to preserve the integrity of the country’s power system and manage electricity consumption to avoid rotational brownouts or widespread outages.

The agency earlier urged consumers to turn off lights and unplug appliances when not in use, and avoid whenever possible the use of high-energy consuming devices such as air conditioners and elevators to manage limited supply.

Energy Secretary Raphael Lotilla said earlier that while the DOE continues to monitor the power situation and ask power plant operators to work on restoring full operations, the public can maximize energy efficiency efforts as the nation goes through this period of extreme heat.

The Energy official has also suggested flexible work arrangements and other conservation measures would also be helpful since extremely high temperatures have been affecting the operations of power plants in the grid.

The DOE also encouraged industrial and commercial establishments to reduce the usage of electricity during peak hours to help alleviate the impact of tight supply.

The ongoing power crisis requires a whole-of-society approach with government, the private sector and our people themselves doing their part in alleviating its adverse effects.

After all, as has been said, it is better to light a candle than to curse the darkness.

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