Connect with us


Moratorium on coal-fired power stations remains – DoE



Moratorium on coal-fired power stations remains – DoE

By means of Ashley Erika O Jose, News reporter

The Department of Energy (DoE) maintains a moratorium on the development of green coal-fired power plants, even though most hydropower plants are currently operating at reduced capacity, resulting in insufficient power supply affecting main grids.

“The moratorium (states, if the LNG or liquefied natural gas plants) had a higher degree of reliability, the private sector could opt for that instead of setting up coal-fired power plants,” Energy Minister Raphael PM Lotilla said in a statement virtual press. information on Thursday.

In 2020, the Energy Department issued a moratorium on the development of new coal-fired power plants as the country sought to reduce its dependence on coal.

Mr Lotilla said the DoE sees no reason to lift the moratorium for now as more than 4,000 megawatts (MW) of power supply is expected to boost the country’s overall energy supply.

At least 4,164.92 MW of power projects are expected to come online this year, which is expected to boost the country’s overall power supply.

Broken down, 4,030 MW will be in Luzon, 80.25 MW in Visayas and 52.50 MW in Mindanao.

Approximately 1,224,655 MW will become operational in the second quarter, while 1,352,167 MW will come online in the third quarter and 1,571,154 MW by the end of the year.

Currently, 161.20 MW of these committed projects are now fully commercially operational, while 835,888 MW are in the commissioning and testing phase.

The DoE said these energy projects are a combination of both renewable energy and conventional power plants and even liquefied natural gas (LNG) powered plants.

Higher-than-expected temperatures these summer months caused hydropower plants to operate at reduced capacity, according to the Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities (ICSC).


On Thursday, the yellow alert status was issued for the power grids of Luzon and Visayas for the eighth time this month, the National Grid Corp. said. of the Philippines (NGCP).

The Energy Department said the yellow alert will continue to impact the country’s main power grids until next month due to higher-than-expected temperatures and rising energy demand.

According to the grid operator’s advisory, a yellow warning was issued over Luzon from 1:00 PM to 5:00 PM and from 7:00 PM to 11:00 PM as 19 power plants remain under forced shutdown while one power plant is operating at reduced capacity. This resulted in the unavailability of 1,424.3 MW on the grid.

Of the 19 power plants, NGCP said four have been offline since last year, while three have been forcibly shut down since January. Twelve factories have been forced to shut down since April.

Yellow warnings are issued when the supply available to the electricity grid falls below a certain safety threshold. If the balance between supply and demand deteriorates further, a red alarm is issued.

Luzon’s power demand reached 13,941 MW on Thursday, while available capacity stood at 14,568 MW.

Visaya’s power grid was also placed on yellow alert from 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM, 6:00 PM to 7:00 PM, and 8:00 PM to 9:00 PM due to the unavailability of 670.8 MW on the power grid.

In Visayas, a total of 24 power plants are offline, while 12 are operating at reduced capacity.

Luningning G. Baltazar, deputy director of the DoE’s Electric Power Industry Management Bureau, said Luzon has already exceeded the expected peak demand for the year.

DoE data shows that Luzon reached a peak demand of 14,016 MW on Wednesday, compared to an expected peak demand of 13,917 MW this year. Peak demand in Visayas and Mindanao reached 2,586 MW and 2,534 MW, respectively, on Wednesday. Visayas and Mindanao have an expected peak demand of 2,891 MW and 2,584 MW respectively for the year.

Undersecretary of Energy Rowena Cristina L. Guevara said more yellow alerts are expected until May, and possibly red alerts as well.

The Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) said it has already summoned six energy companies to explain the recent power outages.

“The ERC expects to have preliminary findings in the first week of May to determine whether orders should be issued to relevant stakeholders in view of possible violations of the outage allowances,” ERC said in a statement.

The energy regulator declined to identify the six power plants because the investigation is still ongoing.

“The Commission is diligently considering additional measures that we can take in the context of this extraordinary increase in demand, due to the effects of El Niño and the unavailability of supply or reserves,” said ERC President Monalisa C. Dimalanta.

The ERC said it is also monitoring the Wholesale Electricity Spot Market (WESM) price as spot market prices rose 47% this week.

“As we complete our investigation into the outages, we do not lose sight of the fact that consumers – both households and businesses – will bear the brunt of the unavailable supply and/or high WESM prices. That is why we emphasized early on to the distribution companies the importance of concluding power supply contracts to at least avoid exposure to price spikes in the WESM,” said Ms. Dimalanta.

Last year, the ERC said it had imposed a total of P60 million in fines on manufacturing companies for exceeding the permitted number of outage days.