Brownouts

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Where were you when the power supply was cut? Are you now used to life without electricity?

Indeed, it is hard now to conceive of life without electricity, given all of the electronic devices that we cannot seem to live without, like our cell phones.

The main cause of the recent power outages is the weather. Other reasons could be human error, equipment failure, and scheduled maintenance.

When a typhoon hits, for example, it is not unusual to lose power for a period of time, or if lightning strikes a transformer, or strong winds knock down power lines.

Reduced, fluctuations of electrical supply or unreliable power supply can cause major problems with electrical products, like air conditioners, freezers, and refrigerators, especially high-tech items like computers and TV sets, resulting in these appliances and gadgets suddenly shutting down or malfunctioning.

When electrical supply entities foresee increased usage during the hottest days of the year, they sometimes create brownouts on purpose. When this happens, they call these ‘temporary cuts’ in power supply, voltage reductions.

By reducing power supply to certain areas temporarily, this will alleviate the strain which allow the electricity reserves to build up.

The Department of Energy warned that the power supply may fall under yellow and red alerts from June to August due to the shutdown of several baseload coal and gas power plants.

Greenpeace campaigner Khevin Yu responded by saying:

“Recurring power shortages are a symptom of the bigger problem of the country’s outdated energy system. The country is heavily reliant on inflexible baseload fossil fuel plants. When these plants break down, the entire Luzon grid suffers, and millions of Filipinos are left to suffer brownouts.

“Instead of resorting to band-aid solutions geared at augmenting these outdated plants, the DOE should facilitate the immediate revamp of the country’s energy system to phase out centralized fossil fuel systems, and transition to smart, flexible renewable energy. Aside from addressing energy security, this urgent and managed phaseout of fossil fuel baseload plants will not only help the country transition to clean renewable energy, and help address the climate crisis. It will also ensure Filipino energy users do not bear the costs of these fossil fuel plants when they become stranded assets.

“To hasten this transition, the government should 1) start improving grid connectivity to support the entry of utility scale solar and wind facilities; 2) increase the support for power generation through net metering; and 3) encourage investments in energy storage and smart grids.

“Flexibility will be foundational for the energy grid of the future, and the government needs to start developing the infrastructure, and ensure policy support to enable greater grid flexibility. These improvements in the distribution system will enable greater participation of variable renewables, paving the way for green and just Philippine energy transition.”

Is our government taking serious notice? Climate change is real, temperatures are indeed rising, it is high time the government implement alternate safe and sustainable power supply, like solar or wind energy. THE TIME IS NOW!

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Author’s email: [email protected]


 

 

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