Another Mindanao power crisis this year?
MANILA, Philippines - The increasing demand for power in Mindanao and the lack of additional capacity to accommodate this may result in another power crisis for the region as early as this year, the Philippine Institute for Development Studies warned on Wednesday.
PIDS said a study done by its Senior Research Fellow Adoracion Navarro showed electricity demand from the region is foreseen to grow by 4.28% annually between 2010 and 2019, faster than the national rate of 3.63%.
Navarro noted that this translates to a demand of as much as 1,428 megawatts (MW) this year and 1,823 MW by 2019, but when computed with a reserve margin of at least 21% of peak demand, generation capacity in the region should be 1,728 MW in 2013 and 2,206 MW in 2019.
"However, the dependable capacity in Mindanao is now only 1,616 MW. This means that the power system could run a reserve shortfall of 112 MW for this year—a clear sign that last year’s power crisis may happen again," PIDS pointed out.
This gap between demand and capacity is foreseen to be filled only in 2015, when a new coal power plant in Sarangani supplies an additional 105 MW, the think tank said.
Navarro has recommended the rehabilitation of the Agus and Palangui hydropower plants, the interconnection of the Visayas-Mindanao grids, and the implementation of reforestation and watershed management programs in the region, among others, to support the power situation in Mindanao.