Sec. Coloma: Conserve energy, the Ilocano way

Tuesday, June 26, 2012 03:34 AM    Views : 698by:Ma. Cristina C. Arzadon

The simplest solution to a diminishing power supply in Luzon is to conserve energy, the Ilocano way.

Secretary Herminio Coloma, Jr., head of the Presidential Communications and Operations Office, said the rotating brownouts that Luzon suffered in previous days were due to reduced base-load capacity of power generating plants.

"There is no shortage of supply. The availability of supply would meet the standards required. It meets the base load and peak load requirements and the buffer required by the ERC (Energy Regulatory Commission)," he said.

Coloma was in Baguio City to meet with information officers of the Philippine Information Agency's Northern and Central Luzon cluster including the Cordillera Administrative Region.

Coloma said that by 2015, however, the level of demand will increase beyond the present supply capacity and this would require adoption new power generating capacities.

He said consumers should also be mindful of energy conservation.

"We need to use energy wisely. We need to be thrifty (like Ilocanos) even in the use of energy," Coloma, who traces his roots in Pinili town in Ilocos Norte, said.

Coloma said new generating plants must also be put in place to make the power base load more reliable.

"At present, the most reliable power source is coal, even though it is not environmental friendly. We are putting in place mitigating factors to reduce the hazards posed by coal," he said.

Coloma said hydro power plants have become unreliable because of climate change.

On Friday, the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines issued a "yellow alert" notice to its Luzon grid customers due to reduced generation.

The NGCP, in its online website, said a yellow alert occurs when available reserves are insufficient to meet the grid's required contingency of 647 mw.

For example, the available capacity recorded was at 7,727 mw while actual peak demand at 10:00AM was at 7,300 mw.

Lilibeth Gaydowen, NGCP's North Luzon Corporate Communications Officer, said available reserves were insufficient to meet the required contingency because of the reduced capability of power plants.

She said the rotating brownouts were necessary to close the gap between a high demand and low power reserves.

She said no power interruptions are expected in the Ilocos Region in the coming days unless power plants implement emergency shutdowns.

"NGCP continues to be in close coordination with the Department of Energy (DOE), and ensures that all the energy available to the grid is dispatched efficiently," Gaydowen, referring to NGCP's official bulletin, said.


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