With the summer energy crisis looming, a group of concerned citizens has launched Power Plant Watch, a project meant to monitor the tight supply of energy and forced or unscheduled outages of power plants between March 16 and April 15, 2015.
According to Wilford Wong, Secretary General, CitizenWatch will act as a watchdog and coordinator for the consumers. “We all know how crucial energy supply will be, basic economics dictates that the tighter supply the higher prices of a commodity will be. But tight supply can be avoided if power plants would coordinate properly with the authorities on their shutdowns.”
The program will monitor the movements in the supply side of generation companies, discouraging unscheduled maintenance and shutdowns, Wong said. “We will coordinate with different government authorities and power plants to ensure the success of this project,” he added.
CitizenWatch has been actively participating and monitoring pertinent hearings in Congress, in addition to coordinating with agencies such as DOE, RESA, ERC, PEZA and Meralco in an effort to verify the numbers the companies have submitted to the House of Representatives.
Congressman Rey Umali, chairman of the House Committee on Energy, has expressed support for the project, citing the benefit to all stakeholders, particularly the consumers, Wong said.
At the end of Power Plant Watch, the program will continue even after the summer months, and a stakeholders forum will be held to show the results of the monitoring, Wong added. This will help the government to come up with a more viable policy and program in the energy sector.
Voting 13-0, the Supreme Court unanimously voted to allow Redondo Peninsula Energy (RP Energy) to proceed with the construction of a 600MW coal project in Zambales, seen to help avert the looming energy crisis that the country might face in the next couple of years, said lawyer Tim Abejo, co-convenor of CitizenWatch.
The issue of inadequate supply remains to be the root cause of our energy woes, which this project will be able to partly address when the plant begins to run in three years’ time, Abejo Said.
The decision is an important one as the country hosts the APEC conference this year, he added.
In particular, it is a relief for businessmen, investors, and power developers as it assures predictability in the business environment, a key element in investment decisions, said Abejo. Alena Flores
CitizenWatch is an independent network that advocates for the interests of citizen rights, especially against powerful interest.