QUEZON CITY, 2 June 2021 — In response to the red alert status raised for the Luzon power grid and resulting power outages, an energy policy expert recommended the installation of more renewable energy plants to allow for flexible and affordable power generation.

“The shortage in power supply, or more accurately, a lack of reserve capacity, has been known in the energy sector even at the same time last year,” said Alberto “Bert” Dalusung III, Energy Transition Advisor of the Manila-based Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities (ICSC) in an interview today with the ABS-CBN News Channel. “Demand was recovering, businesses were starting to get back on track, and we hit that limit in our power capacity.”

Dalusung, a member of the National Renewable Energy Board and former Director for Energy Planning at the Department of Energy, added that the long-term solution is more effective power expansion planning, coupled with new capacity and flexible power plants which have the ability to adjust to varying levels of load.

“The need for cost-competitive power to support industrial strategies, new investments to support job growth, and resilient power systems in the face of increasing disasters, are together tipping the logic towards renewable energy,” he stated in an opinion piece he co-wrote with other energy experts.

“We need to have a set of power plants that are least cost and have that kind of flexibility,” Dalusung also told ANC. “The lowest cost power plants today is solar or renewables. We know the limitations of renewables, but it is the grid that has to provide a 24-hour service. We need to have the right mix.”

“The power crisis during times of low demand magnifies the need to shift to flexible generation and away from centralized generation dependent on large base-load plants. The breakdown of just one large base load plant usually caused power reserves to drop to yellow or red alert levels,” wrote Atty. Pedro Maniego Jr., former Chair of the Philippine National Renewable Energy Board and ICSC Senior Policy Advisor, in an opinion piece last month for Business Mirror.

The Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities is a Manila-based international policy group advancing climate resilience and low carbon development.

AC Dimatatac, media@icsc.ngo, +63 998 546 9788, +63 917 149 5649