Philippine Power Shortage 2010

Reading a news of power shortage in the Philippines at this decade gives me mixed emotions. I have experienced the worst power shortage in late 80's due to political instabilities. I have discussed this issue in my previous article. I personally believe that the current power shortage in the Philippines is politically motivated. Why? I will tell you.

  • The Department of Energy is already insinuating about possible power shortage in 2009, long before the elections.
  • There is a shortage of coal - which has the highest contribution into the Philippine Energy Mix, shutting down reserve units of coal fired power plants like the Sual Power Station.
  • Several power generating plants are put into preventive maintenance simultaneously.


The list may be longer but with the above reasons alone, it will be possible to create an artificial power shortage. How?

The tripping of a generating unit at Sual Power plant have created a shortage of the grid's power reserve which caused some blackouts (or brownouts as most Filipino people call it) in several areas. The current power reserve is 4028 MW with the maximum demand @ 4328 MW. The 300MW difference is equivalent to a single generating unit of the Sual Power Station, thus the black out when it tripped (for reasons - I don't know).

The government should be thinking of building more generating power station, uplift the maintenance of existing power plants and ensure sufficient supply of coal feed stock.

After the election, let us wait and see what the new administration's actions will be.

About the Author

Ver Pangonilo

A Filipino Engineer, Registered Professional Engineer of Queensland (RPEQ) – Australia and Professional Electrical Engineer (PEE) – Philippines with extensive experience in concept select, front-end engineering, HV & LV detail design, construction and commissioning of Hazardous and Non-Hazardous Area electrical installations in water and waste water pipeline and pumping facilities, offshore platforms, hydrocarbon process plants and pipelines including related facilities. Hazardous area classification and design certification (UEENEEM015B, UEENEEM016B, UEENEEM017B).

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