Visayas faces critical power supply in 2015

Wenna Berondo (The Philippine Star) - November 5, 2012 - 12:00am

ILOILO CITY, Philippines — The Department of Energy assured there is enough power supply for the Visayas. For now.

Department of Energy-Visayas Field Office director, Engr. Antonio Labios said at present, the Visayas grid’s installed capacity of 2,402 megawatts (MW) is enough to meet its peak demand of 1,489 MW. Cebu has the biggest demand at 707 MW during peak hours, followed by Panay with 262; Negros, 247; Leyte-Samar, 210 and Bohol, 63, based on the August 2012 monitoring of the energy department.

Labios said the power situation in Panay Island has improved with the additional supply of 164 MW from PEDC. The additional supply of 200MW from Kepco and 246 MW from CEDC has also helped solved the power shortage problem in Cebu.

“As of now, we have enough power to meet our demand. But come 2015, when our demand exceeds our dependable capacity, we would have critical period for power,” Labios said.

The Visayas region’s power demand is projected to increase to 1,594 MW in 2013; 1,651 in 2014; and 1,711 MW in 2015. From 2,402 MW this year, its installed capacity will increase to 2032 MW in 2013 with the operation of 8 MW Villasiga HEP, to 2052 in 2014 with the operation of the 20 MW Nasulo Geothermal Power Plant and to 2,056 MW in 2015 with the additional 4MW from Asian Energy Biomass. Despite the committed additional capacity, Labios said the region will still need additional 100 MW from either the expansion of the existing power plants or the putting up of the new ones.

He however assured there no need to be alarmed because they are encouraging investors to put up additional power plants especially the ones that produce renewable energy.

Labios and other officials of the power industry like the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines, Wholesale Electricity Spot Market, among others were in Iloilo City recently for the “Strengthened Public Education, Appreciation and Knowledge on Energy (SPEAK-Energy),” a series of lecture on renewable energy and electric power industry.

From 2015 until 2030, Labios said the Visayas grid will need around 2,000 MW as a result of economic development. “We are upbeat because many have applied for coal and geothermal plants,” he added.

The DOE report showed that as of September, there are a total of 310-megawatt committed power projects and 580-megawatt indicative projects. Committed projects are those that already have financial closures while indicative projects still have to comply with other requirements prior to the financial closure.

With the increasing demand for energy, DOE officials are promoting renewable energy to lessen the country’s dependence on oil and petroleum products.

In fact, the government is offering a buffet of incentives for investors who will engage into renewable energy projects, such as biofuels and biomass, wind and solar energy, hydropower, geothermal and ocean energy. Incentives include income tax holiday for 7-year period, duty-free and VAT-free importation, waived government share on proceeds on renewable energy and tax rebates.

Nationwide, the DOE has already awarded 291 contracts for renewable energy, with 213 applications still pending. —FPL (FREEMAN)

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