Energy Chief Rallies Stakeholders Towards Mindanao Power Solutions

(Taguig City) – Department of Energy Secretary Jose Rene D. Almendras has called on the cooperation of all stakeholders in achieving winnable solutions for the current power situation in Mindanao.  In the Mindanao Power Summit held in Davao last week, he said that “plans being laid out by the government will need the utmost support of all stakeholders to make them effective.”

The DOE’s proposed number of solutions has included the transfer of power barges, proper contracting of stakeholders for power supply from power utilities, and the rehabilitation of the Agus and Pulangui hydropower complex.

"Everything will rely on execution and that also requires concerted efforts from every stakeholder in order for these to produce results. The idea is that execution needs support," Almendras opined.

At the same Power Summit in Davao, Secretary Almendras stated that preparations must be intensified as experts have made mention that rainfall patterns in Mindanao have already changed. Mindanao’s power, as the DOE has stated before, is sourced mainly from hydropower plants which is dependent on the amount of rainfall.  "When power supply is intermittent or irregular, we run the risk of having a power shortage. There are too many variables when we rely too much on a single power source and those variables need to be extrapolated and contingencies must be in place for these," Secretary Almendras stressed.

The DOE has long warned Mindanao that baseload plants in the region must be established to bridge the gap of the shortage. Baseload plants produce energy at a constant rate. Any type of plant can provide baseload power even hydropower but such plants may run low on fuel, or water, in times of drought.

"Even if we consider a portion of the capacity of hydropower in Mindanao, we only have 37.31% of baseload which is really low to be able to meet the demand," Secretary Almendras pointed out.