by Meg Adonis | Jan 12, 2024 | Published by Inquirer | READ THE STORY HERE

MANILA, Philippines  —A diverse and flexible power-generation portfolio is needed to prevent another island-wide blackout that crippled Panay for three days l ast week, a climate and energy think tank said on Thursday.

Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities (ICSC) pointed out that diversifying energy sources could make power generation in Panay more resilient and less susceptible to system failures, especially as the Western Visayas island relied heavily on coal-fired power plants to meet growing demand.

“Given the recent blackouts in Panay, a reevaluation of the island’s energy mix and grid resilience measures is imperative,” ICSC said in a statement.

“This can include exploring advanced energy storage technologies, enhancing grid interconnections, and strategically integrating renewable energy sources to diversify the island’s energy portfolio,” the Quezon City-based group said.

Panay, which comprises the provinces of Antique, Capiz, Iloilo and Aklan, currently has four major coal-fired power plants accounting for a total of 451 megawatts (MW).

PEDC Unit 1 was the first to shut down at noon on Jan. 2, was followed by PEDC Unit 2, PCPC and other facilities two hours later, prompting National Grid Corp. of the Philippines (NGCP) to issue a yellow alert status in the island.

A yellow alert is raised when the operating margin is not enough, while a red alert means there is insufficient electricity supply, resulting in power interruptions.

ICSC reiterated that diversifying energy sources, including renewables, could “contribute to a more robust and reliable energy infrastructure.”

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