PEAK POWER demand in 2021 is expected to hit 16,333 megawatts (MW), topping the 15,282 MW high from 2020, which was recorded before the lockdowns were imposed, the Department of Energy (DoE) said.

The DoE was reporting out data compiled by its Electric Power Industry Management Bureau (EPIMB).

“Luzon is expected to reach a peak demand of 11,841 MW during the summer period, from the 2020 peak demand of 11,103 MW which occurred prior to community quarantines,” DoE Head of Public Affairs Jive Bullock told BusinessWorld via Viber Wednesday.

“Visayas, on the other hand, is anticipating a peak demand of 2,394 MW in 2021 from 2,201 MW in 2020, while Mindanao is forecast to have a peak demand of 2,098 MW, from 1,978 MW in 2020,” she added.

Ms. Bullock said the forecasts are based on the National Economic Development Authority’s (NEDA) growth projections for 2021 gross domestic product (GDP), as of May, as well as actual demand in 2020. She said that in May, NEDA had expected GDP to grow 8 to 9% this year.

Asked about the supply outlook for the three grids in 2021, she said available capacity is still being evaluated.

“(This is) due to recent developments and concerns from the generation and transmission sectors in their maintenance schedules and the limited or slow movements of foreign technical consultants  because of the pandemic,” Ms. Bullock said.

In a Dec. 21 briefing, Energy Secretary Alfonso G. Cusi said the DoE is seeking to add power capacity as the current supply “barely met demand.” He added that a surge in power demand is expected once the economy opens fully.

At the same event, he said demand for oil products will be higher this year as the transportation sector picks up after the shutdowns imposed by the public health emergency. — Angelica Y. Yang