Power shortage looms anew in Mindanao


A repeat of the power crisis in Mindanao in the summer months this year and in 2014 is very likely, according to the government think-tank Philippine Institute for Development Studies.

It said the crippling power crisis in the hottest months of 2012 might recur because no additional baseload power-generating capacity has been installed on the island.

Baseload power generation supplies the minimum or normal electricity requirements of consumers, including households, businesses and other organizations. Other power plants run to address the peaking of electricity use at certain times of the day.

PIDS senior research fellow Adoracion Navarro observed that electricity demand in Mindanao has continuously spiked through the years with rapid urbanization and increased industrialization. Consolidated forecasts on demand for the period 2010-2019 showed an annual average demand growth of 4.28 percent in Mindanao, higher than the nationwide 3.63 percent.

Navarro noted that, based on data from the Department of Energy, power plants in Mindanao accounted for dependable generating capacity totaling 1,616 megawatts (MW). However, about two-thirds of such capacity or 1,038 MW represented hydropower plants such as the Agus and Pulangui facilities.

These plants, the study said, might ironically not be dependable in the summer months because of worsening deforestation of watersheds and siltation of river systems in Mindanao.

Also based on DOE data, only 37 percent of power plant capacity in Mindanao addressed the baseload. In comparison, baseload capacity in Luzon and the Visayas were pegged at 63 percent and 72 percent, respectively. Mindanao’s peak demand could reach 1,428 MW this year and 1, 823 MW by 2019.

Considering that there should be a reserve margin of at least 21 percent of peak demand, according to the DOE, the total generation capacity in Mindanao should be 1,728 MW in 2013 and 2,206 MW in 2019.

With the state of dependable capacity in Mindanao, “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,” Navarro said.

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  • A_few_good_men

    The electricity shortage in Mindanao has been happening for several years already. How come it is not being solve by the government. The solution is known to all and that is to add more power plants. If the private sector won’t build the power plant, then the government thru Napocor should do it. That’s what was done during Marcos time why can’t it be done now? If you check the total nationwide power supply, more than 1,000 MW is the reserved power for Luzon, several  hundred MW is the reserved for Visayas. Mindanao has negative reserved of about a hundred MW that;s why Luzon has no brown-out, Visayas may have some few. Mindanao has daily brown-out of 2-8 hours. The fastest solution to eliminate the brown-out in Mindanao without waiting for new power plant is to interconnect the Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao grid. But no one in government is hell bent on solving the power crisis! Why?  Walang kwenta ang puro papogi kung hindi alam papano solusyonan ang problema ng bayan. Sorry Mindanaoans we’re just 2nd class citizens and does not need national attention really. Except during elections of course.

  • Wadav

    A 112MW shortfall is not that big.. if only people invest more on renewables especially solar power. Community based solar farm in kW capacities can be easily constructed in a very short time. it can be put up really in just a matter of weeks!. Mura na masyado ngaun ang solar panels!

  • mekeni62

    Summer month ang May….election time. oh oh!

  • magarito

    incineration para bawas basura. kung problema magdudumi ang hangin mag nuclear power. ilagay sa isolated na isla.

  • frank

    yan ang pagkakamali ng kapitalismo

  • Joseph

    People need power, but get mad at the power companies for charging too much and makes the environment hostile to new power producers who would otherwise induce competition and lower rates.

    This attitude of “who blinks first helps” no one.

  • Pers

    ito ba ang pagunlad

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