Power demand failed to sustain the growth recorded in September, indicative of slow economic activity the past two months.
The Independent Electricity Market Operator of the Philippines (IEMOP) said from 2,586 megawatts (MW) in September in Luzon and Visayas, peak demand fell 2.6 percent to 12,259 MW in October and by 5.8 percent to 11,859 MW as of November 22.
Peak demand in September breached 2019 monthly levels for the first time since quarantine protocols were imposed last March.
“Historically, under a normal year, power demand for September increases as manufacturing ramps up production for the December consumption of goods,” said Isidro Cacho Jr., IEMOPchief corporate strategy and communications officer, in an online briefing yesterday.
The average market price in the wholesale electricity spot market fell from September’s P3.48 per kilowatt hour (kWh) to P1.97 per kWh in October and further to P1.91 per kWh for November.
Despite the drop in demand and in market price, power supply in the last three months has been stable, above the 13,000 MW levels, even with the maintenance shutdown of the Malampaya gas that started from November 14 and set to be completed today, November 27.
Available supply in October and November were at 13,569 MW and 13,348 MW compared to September’s 13,379 MW.
“For the past month, supply improved and although there were instances like the Malampaya gas restriction…that it did not reflect on prices since the gap is big between supply and demand. Driver of the big gap is better availability on the generation side, as demand is also tamed because of cooler temperature,” Cacho added. — Jed Macapagal