The Wholesale Electricity Spot Market is starting the year off with a significantly lower price, averaging at 5.76 PhP/kWh for January 2023. This represents a significant 31.59% decrease or 2.66 PhP/kWh from the December billing period, which stood at 8.42 PhP/kWh. The decrease in market price can be attributed to an increase in average supply of 1,347 MW, coupled with a decrease in average demand of 914 MW. This resulted in a supply margin increase of 4,979 MW, or 83.25%, compared to last month’s 2,717 MW.
In addition to the decrease in average market price, January also saw fewer price spikes compared to the previous two months. The holiday season, along with persistent cold weather, led to a 9% decrease in average demand, down to 9,253 MW, compared to the 10,167 MW recorded in December. Peak demand for January also decreased by 10.29% to 11,656 MW, compared to the 12,993 MW recorded from the previous billing period.
With lower prices, the quantities of electricity bought from the market increased to 15.1% from the previous 13.6%, with the rest of the consumption being settled outside the market based on their contract price. The total energy produced also showed a downward trend in the last quarter of 2022 up to January 2023. Coal remained the top contributor to the generation mix in the first billing period of 2023, with a 58.1% share, or 3,858 GWh, followed by Natural Gas at 16.8%, or 1,116 GWh. Renewable energy resources generated a total of 1,622 GWh, or around 22.73% of the total.
The Independent Electricity Market Operator of the Philippines (IEMOP) likewise mentioned that the WESM Mindanao successfully went on commercial operations last 26 January 2023 with a total registered capacity of 4,326 MW. The registered Mindanao trading participants include 43 Generation Companies, 28 Electric Cooperatives, 4 Private Distribution Utilities, 12 DirectlyConnected Customers, and 10 Metering Services Providers. With a peak demand reaching only about 2,167 MW, a large supply margin of about 2,000 MW was noted in the Mindanao WESM.
A ceremonial launching of WESM in Mindanao was also held last 6 February 2023 at the Malacañan Palace led by His Excellency President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr. wherein he noted, “This is, indeed, a significant leap as we endeavor to achieve a reliable, secure and competitively priced electricity supply for our consumers”. The Chief Executive also added, “I believe that this is a very important step and in rationalizing our power capacity, our power distribution, and hopefully with an eye also to the lowering prices of fuel in the world market that this will lead to a lower cost not only for our industrial partners but also for our household consumers.”
In its media briefing, IEMOP also announced the holding of the first ever Philippine Electric Power Industry Forum (PEPIF) in coordination with the DOE and the ERC. This two-day event scheduled in March 20-21, 2023 at the Diamond Hotel Manila will bring together industry leaders, decision makers and professionals to discuss challenges and opportunities, share best practices, learn from experts, and explore the latest trends in the Philippine electric power industry. The forum also aims to strengthen collaboration and forge partnerships among industry participants in support of the objectives of the EPIRA, as well as to accelerate programs under the Philippine Development Plan 2023-2028.