29 March 2012
- Of late, Malacañang, through Department of Energy Secretary Jose Rene Almendras, has been raising alarms about the onset of a Mindanao power shortage or a power crisis.
How true is this claim? The Department of Energy’s 2010 data show that Mindanao has an installed electric power capacity of 1,971 MW and dependable capacity of 1,658 MW. System peak demand is only 1,291 MW, leaving a reserve of 367 MW. Peak demands have not breached the dependable capacity, much less the installed capacity. So where is the power crisis?
But we have to improve the power situation in Mindanao for the medium and the long-term. To address this, there is no need for a presidential emergency power. What President Aquino should do is to instruct the DOE to conduct an actual technical audit of all existing power plants in Mindanao to determine their rated capacities and if they are running according to such capacities on the one hand, and make a serious examination of existing and future demand for power. Malacañang must be reminded that there is already an existing Power Development Plan which is being evaluated annually to arrive at a responsible forecast for supply and demand.
Malacañang’s hype of a power crisis only raises suspicions of another scheme to go around the mounting opposition to privatize the Agus and the Pulangi Rivers hydro power plants and the growing demand to repeal and replace EPIRA. -30-