Power bourse governing body emphasizes need for power supply diversification 

The Philippine Electricity Market Corporation (PEMC), the governing body of the Wholesale Electricity Spot Market (WESM), emphasized the need for supply diversification to address power supply concerns, considering the country’s dependence on conventional generators for most of its energy supply.

In a presentation during the Philippine Solar PV Energy Virtual Summit, PEMC President Leonido J. Pulido III said that “the problem with too much reliance on conventional generators is the fact that in case of outages, whether planned or forced, it significantly affects our grid’s power supply.”

Pulido further emphasized that, to address the country’s reliance to conventional generators, “we have to look into other sources to augment our supply… through the increased penetration of renewable energy (RE) resources.”

RE, while considered unreliable due to its intermittency, is the cheapest source of electricity and uses locally available clean energy resources such as solar, wind, geothermal, run-of-river hydropower, biomass, impounding hydropower, and ocean energy.

With the steady increase of RE utilization in the Philippines in the last few years, Pulido stressed the need for “a collaborative effort on the part of the government and the power industry where PEMC plays a vital role.”

This collaboration involves the establishment of:

-the Renewable Energy Market (REM) that supports the attainment of the target in the RE generation mix through a market-based policy mechanism under the RE Act of 2008 also known as the Renewable Portfolio Standards;

-the net metering program which institutionalizes the development of local and national capabilities in the use of RE systems; and

-the promotion of efficient and cost-effective commercial application of RE technologies through providing fiscal and nonfiscal incentives.

Government policies issued by the Department of Energy (DOE), such as the policy on preferential dispatch for RE and the participation of battery energy storage systems and pumped-storage units in the WESM, also concretized measures to improve the power generation from variable RE resources to mainly address the problem of their intermittency.

“PEMC has signed a Partnership Agreement with the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS) through the Southeast Asian Energy Transition Partnership (ETP) to usher in the implementation of an energy transition roadmap focused on introducing market mechanisms and enhancements promoting participation in the market of renewable and sustainable technologies,” said Pulido. “Institutionalizing effective strategies is imperative for us to fully harness the benefits of these RE resources, which include energy prices and supply stability to power up the Philippine economy in the new normal,” he concluded.