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Demand for electricity picking up

Demand for on-the-spot supply of electricity, for augmenting contracted power, is nearing prelockdown levels after dropping by 17 percent, or 1,761 megawatts, during the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ), according to the Independent Electricity Market Operator of the Philippines (IEMOP).

The IEMOP said the recovery of demand—in the Luzon and the Visayas grids—was due to the warmer weather and the transition to general community quarantine (GCQ) in some areas earlier this month.

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In a briefing, IEMOP chief operating officer Robinson Descanzo noted that the system energy requirements of Luzon and Visayas fell by 21 percent, or an average of 2,187 MW during the first month of the ECQ or from March 16 to April 15 from the pre-ECQ level.

“System energy requirement only started to pick up during the second month of the ECQ period with an average increase of 867 MW as compared to the first month of the ECQ,” Descanzo said.

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For the two months of ECQ, supply needs in both the grids served by the wholesale electricity spot market (WESM) dropped by 17 percent, or an average of 1,761 MW.

“This then led to lower WESM prices, as values ranged from [nil] to P5.07 per kwh, that resulted to an average price of P1.58 per kwh,” Descanzo said.

In March, with the first two weeks of ECQ, the spot market racked up 653 gigawatt-hours, or 65e million kwh. This dropped to 486 gwh in April but rose to 662 gwh in May.

Based on the effective spot settlement prices, the spot market chalked up P2.47 per kwh in May. This fell to P1.50 per kwh in April, then rose to P1.96 per kwh in May.

In 2019, spot market transactions were 553 gwh in March, 772 gwh in April and 688 gwh in May.

Reflecting high demand, respective prices then were at P5.20, P8.18 and P7.15 per kwh.

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