Cooperatives offer better solution to power crisis
from May 14, 2014 04:00 pm to May 14, 2014 04:00 pm
By Dexter A. See | May. 13, 2014 at 12:01am
BAGUIO CITY, Benguet --- Electric cooperatives have built-in advantages to provide stable electricity supply to consumers all over the country at least cost, an energy expert said.
Roaldo del Mundo, associate professor of the University of the Philippines – National Engineering Center, said cooperatives have no return of investments in the computation of rates, which allow it to charge lower cost of electricity.
“What they need to do is to empower themselves ... as an aggregate. They can do joint actions on specific concerns on power generation, sub-transmission and distribution,” Del Mundo said.
Aggregation means pooling resources as an association to attain certain objectives such as bargaining with power generators and setting standard rates. The Central Luzon electric cooperatives, for example, recently set electricity cost at P3.70 per kilowatt hour, which is less compared with P5 per kilowatt hour in Metro Manila.
Wide areas of the country are open for aggregation. There are only two existing cooperative associations: The Mindanao Association of Electric Cooperatives and the Association of Central Luzon Electric Cooperatives.
Del Mundo said cooperatives near each other should pool resources and form a bigger cooperative to attract investors that can build additional sources of renewable energy in their areas.
He said aggregation would prevent private distribution companies from taking over distribution of electricity and protect consumers from unabated increases in power rates.
In Mindanao 21 cooperatives have agreed to unit their existing capacities to put up a 300-megawatt coat-fired power plant to help address the increasing power outages in the island.