In a bid to improve energy efficiency in Mindanao, the Department of Energy (DOE) conducted a public consultation on its flagship programs to various stakeholders on April 5-6, 2018 in Davao City.

DOE Undersecretary Felix William Fuentebella presented the policy on the establishment of Independent Market Operator (IMO) facility while Assistant Secretary Redentor Delola discussed the Causer Pays Mechanism (CPM), and updates on Wholesale Electricity Spot Market (WESM). Usec. Fuentebella cited that the IMO is a new and independent body separate from the Philippine Electricity Market Corporation that is tasked to ensure compliance of the generation companies with WESM rules and its market manuals, called the Market Operations Performance Standards. The IMO also ensures transfer of market information and data required by the DOE and Energy Regulation Commission.

The CPM aims to improve efficient utilization of ancillary services specifically by charging current cost recovery to customers across all types of reserves and not only the household consumers. Under CPM, forced outages will have bigger repercussions for the event causer. Still, the DOE needs further consultation with stakeholders to harmonize relevant issues and achieve efficient implementation of CPM.

On WESM, Asec. Delola highlighted that the operation of WESM-Mindanao will commence in October 2018. WESM facilitates a transparent electricity market across Mindanao energy sources or power plants to trade power supply. It will provide consumers options of choosing lower-priced electricity. The Luzon and Visayas grids have already implemented the program in 2006 and 2010, respectively.

On the other hand, Engr. Nilo Geroche of DOE-Mindanao Field Office proudly announced that Mindanao has achieved sufficiency in power supply in 2017. However, under the Power Development Plan 2040, Mindanao still needs 10,200 MW of additional energy capacity.

The different national line agencies, private groups led by generation companies, local government units across Mindanao, non-government organizations, and the academe sector participated in the consultation.

Marx Rev  Buenavidez, NEDA-Caraga