DOE seeking IEA help on power planning adjustment

By Myrna M. Velasco – December 4, 2018, 10:00 PM
from Manila Bulletin

The Department of Energy (DOE) is seeking the assistance of Paris-based International Energy Agency (IEA) to help the country adjust its power planning metrics, primarily factoring in the improving lifestyles of Filipino households.

Energy Secretary Alfonso G. CusiEnergy Secretary Alfonso G. Cusi

Energy Secretary Alfonso G. Cusi noted that he had discussed this last month during a bilateral meeting with IEA Executive Director Fatih Birol on the sidelines of the ASEAN Ministers on Energy Meeting in Singapore.

“On our forecast for electricity demand growth, I have some fears that we might have understated projections,” Cusi said, noting that the numbers used as reference had been coming from a very low base per capita.

The energy chief qualified that while the country’s economy may not have a solid plinth of manufacturing, household consumption alone had been on incessant rise due to the improving financial capabilities of Filipinos to purchase appliances.

One electricity-guzzling fixture at Filipino homes, he cited, is air-conditioning system – which many Filipinos have been placing them not just in sleeping quarters, but even in living rooms, kitchens and gardens.

“The standard of living is changing and the availability of electricity is now more stable, so we’re looking closely at the increase in electricity demand – particularly for appliances because they drive up electricity consumption,” the energy secretary enthused.

Cusi further reckoned that “a lot of households, a lot of people are putting air conditioning – and that has not been fully factored in in our projections.”

He emphasized that IEA’s assistance will be valuable because they might be able to apprise the DOE of a reference-country of which citizens had the same form of transformation when it comes to lifestyle upgrades.

“I am cross-referencing with IEA on what are the experiences of other countries – how much do we factor in to the projections, say for the expanding air-conditioning use of households alone,” Cusi stressed.

He indicated that DOE and the global energy think tank are still at the process of exchanging correspondences on the matter, but Cusi is upbeat on prospects of getting help from the IEA.

“We are looking at the facets of energy planning adjustment – for instance, what is the projected increase in demand based on air-conditioning use of households alone,” he stressed.