The Philippine Electricity Market Corp. (PEMC) replied to my article in BWorld, Brownouts, coal power and electricity market, August 17, 2016, below.
Dear Editor: We are writing in reference to a column written by Mr. Bienvenido Oplas published on 17 August 2016 entitled, “Brownouts, coal power and the electricity market”.
We note the persistent claims made in your column that Philippine Electricity Market Corporation (PEMC) is exactly replicating the Department of Energy’s (DOE) efforts to push for more renewable energy (RE) resources into the system. It was also averred in your column that “since PEMC continues to be a government controlled
corporation, can we expect PEMC to be more independent, more candid, in assessing the harm, actual and potential of more REs in the WESM and grid stability?”
In addressing these claims, you used the example of the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) in its initiative to conduct reliability studies. It must be pointed out that the AEMO is not merely a market operator but also a power systems operator that provides critical planning, forecasting, and power systems information. Thus, it can conduct studies on the impact of withdrawal of coal-fired generation capacity cognizant of its responsibility in maintaining the reliability of the Australian power
grid. In contrast to the Australian structure, PEMC acts only as the Market Operator responsible for the governance and operations of the WESM. The function of maintaining the security, reliability and integrity of the power grid is lodged with the System Operator. Against this context, it is grossly inaccurate to claim that PEMC is expected to study the impact of influx of RE resources in the grid.
With regard to the claim that PEMC is pushing for more RE resources in the WESM as a result of its study on “merit order effect” (MOE), this is a non-sequitur. The study published in our electricity journal focused on the impact of FIT incentives based on
the actual generation of FIT-qualified resources in the WESM as a result of priority dispatch accorded by Republic Act No. 9513 otherwise known as the RE Act of 2008. The MOE of the possible lowering of energy prices in the electricity bourse is no form of endorsement of RE resources on PEMC’s part. In the study, the impact of MOE on the market affects only those distribution utilities and directly-connected customers that purchased from the market and does not necessarily translate to the direct lowering of retail rates for end-users because of the FIT. The initiative of PEMC in conducting studies and analyses affecting market outcomes is without partiality to any resource.
Lastly, we wish to point out that PEMC remains a private corporation and not a government-controlled corporation. We recognize the DOE’s role in the policy oversight of the WESM operations as envisioned pursuant to relevant laws and
We understand and appreciate your pursuit of balanced reporting and as such, we deemed it necessary to address the assertions made in your column.
In the interest of unbiased journalism, we request that you allow us to air our side by publishing this letter in your paper, as is and sans comment.
Atty. Phillip C. Adviento,
Manager, Training and Communications
The Philippine Electricity Market Corporation (PEMC) is a non-stock, non-profit corporation which was incorporated in November 2003 upon the initiative of the Department of Energy (DOE) with representatives from the various sectors of the electric power industry to be the governance arm of the Wholesale Electricity Spot Market (WESM). The WESM began Commercial Operations in Luzon in June 2006 and in the Visa yas in December 2010. In June 2013, PEMC launched and integrated the Retail Competition and Open Access (RCOA) into the WESM. The WESM is a centralized venue for buyers and sellers to trade electricity as a commodity where its prices are based on actual use (demand) and availability (supply). The WESM was created by Republic Act 9136, the Electric Power Industry Reform Act (EPIRA) of 2001. This provided for the establishment of an electricity market that reflects the actual cost of electricity and lowers its price through more efficient production through competition.