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DOE presents 9 priorities to ensure power supply sufficiency during ‘critical’ periods

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THE Department of Energy (DOE) has outlined nine priorities for this year that are aligned with the administration’s strategy.

On top of its list is the pursuit of contingency measures and activities to ensure energy supply during “critical” periods, which include summer.

It said it will ensure that committed power projects, transmission line facilities, and Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) infrastructure, among others, are completed and delivered on time. The critical transmission projects are the Mindanao-Visayas Interconnection Project (MVIP), the Cebu-Negros-Panay Backbone Project, and the Hermosa-San Jose Transmission Line in Bataan that will support the entry of around 711.54 megawatts (MW) of additional RE capacity and 1,120 MW battery energy storage system (BESS) in the Luzon grid.

Towards the first half of 2023, the DOE will continue to keep a tight watch on the commercial operation of LNG facilities that will complement the Malampaya resource. As of December 2022, six applications for LNG import terminal projects were already approved.

The Linseed Field Corporation and the FGEN LNG Corporation are expected to become operational by March and June 2023, respectively. These LNG projects will supply the existing anchor markets of the Malampaya Gas Field to address the impending depletion of the country’s lone domestic source of natural gas.

The second priority is to update The Philippine Energy Plan to align with the Philippine Development Plan 2023-2028.

Third on its list is to promote the development and utilization of renewable energy (RE) resources. This can be done with the conduct of the 2nd round of the GEAP (Green Energy Auction Program). Further, the agency will continuously develop essential policy frameworks for emerging RE technologies such as offshore wind and hydrogen.

Hybrid power systems will also be implemented in off-grid areas to reduce the Universal Charge for Missionary Electrification (UCME), the DOE said.

Also in the list is to strengthen the implementation and enhancement of CSP (Competitive Selection Process) policy for distribution utilities (DUs) and electric cooperatives (ECs).

“In a bid to address the delays and improve the slow pace of DUs’ compliance on competitive power supply contracting, the DOE shall reassess previous policy issuances and the promulgation of a more refined CSP policy.

As such, the necessary power supply contracting mechanisms will be in place, enhancing the efficiency and effectiveness of the policy. Similarly, the Department will swiftly push to strengthen its implementation to institutionalize transparency and good governance in the awarding of power supply contracts,” it said.

The DOE’s list also includes the crafting of the National Total Electrification Roadmap (NTER) through the implementation of Microgrid Systems Act.

As of June 2022, electrification at the household level in the country stood at 95.8 percent. Luzon recorded the highest electrification at 98.8 percent followed by the Visayas at 97.2 percent. Mindanao’s household electrification registered at 87.1 percent.

Another priority is to implement the Total Electrification Project in partnership with the National Electrification Administration (NEA) and National Power Corporation (NPC).

Seventh in the list is to formulate a Nuclear Power Roadmap, in partnership with the private sector, International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), experts and stakeholders.

The existing Nuclear Power Roadmap will be updated to guide both the Nuclear Energy Program Implementing Organization (NEPIO) and the Nuclear Energy Program Inter-Agency Committee (NEP-IAC) in the implementation of activities to address the challenges of the nuclear energy program.

The DOE will also formulate the Energy Resiliency Roadmap and Action Plan and Energy Resilience Scorecard and Assessment to set the course and direction for the sector towards achieving a higher level of resiliency to disasters.

Last in the list is the implementation of the Reserve Market and Wholesale Electricity Spot Market (WESM) Mindanao. The Ancillary Services (AS) policy mentions the establishment of a reserve market wherein there is co-optimization of energy and reserves in the WESM. Just recently, the DOE has declared the target commercial operation date of WESM Mindanao on January 26, 2023.

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