THE problem of thinning power reserves must be addressed by both the government and private sector with the immediate adoption of energy conservation measures to ensure a problem-free election on May 9, the Management Association of the Philippines (MAP) said Thursday. 

In a statement responding to forecasts of thin power reserves over the next 30 days, MAP called for the adoption of energy efficiency practices at the household, office, or business level, while urging government agencies to implement conservation measures for air-conditioner use. It also recommended the use of compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) for lighting, and coconut methyl ester-blended diesel fuel for vehicle operations.

It urged energy stakeholders, specifically distribution utilities, electric cooperatives, the National Grid Corp. of the Philippines (NGCP), and the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC), to roll out measures like the Interruptible Load Program (ILP), especially in areas with increased power demand.

The ILP allows major users with their own generation facilities to opt out of using grid power to help the system service elevated demand.

In March, the Manila Electric Co. (Meralco) urged more eligible companies to sign up for its ILP.

Meralco currently has 122 companies registered for its ILP, with a total committed de-loading capacity of approximately 560 megawatts (MW).

MAP urged the NGCP to contract more reserve power and accelerate the connection of power plants not yet linked to the grid. It also asked the ERC to suspend the Secondary Price Cap (SPC) at the Wholesale Electricity Spot Market (WESM).

“The government should treat the protection and sustainability of the country’s energy infrastructure as a national security concern and thus increase the (focus) on longer-term development,” it said, citing the need for an energy transition plan configured for climate equity and energy security.  — Ram Christian S. Agustin