Supply shortages lead to rolling power outages in the Philippines

March 6, 2015

Source: Platts World Electric Power Plant Database (December 2014 release)
Note: Planned additions reflect projects currently under construction.

As the 12th-largest nation in the world, the Philippines has a population of more than 100 million people spread over 7,000 islands, presenting several electricity infrastructure challenges. Currently, the country is facing growing concerns over resource adequacy in its power sector, as the nation is challenged to add supply quickly enough to keep up with growing demand. In late 2014, Philippine president Benigno Aquino to enable the government to lease 600 megawatts (MW) of additional capacity and to take other measures to prevent power outages in Luzon, the largest island region in the southeast Asian nation.

Emergency capacity additions would be mostly met by diesel generators. Other emergency measures include paying large customers to reduce grid demand by running their own generators, under the government’s .

The nation’s power sector has been through years of transformation. The National Power Corporation (NPC) once had a (1987) led to the creation of an independent power producer sector to spur private ownership of generation.


In addition to the government’s short-term emergency actions, the Philippines will continue to expand its electricity generation capacity to improve system reliability and keep up with economic and population growth. The most recent data available from the estimate that 70% of the population has access to electricity.

The three main island regions of Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao each have distinct generation profiles. In the northern part of the country, Luzon’s capacity is mainly powered by fossil fuels, with . In the south, Mindanao relies heavily on its hydropower resources, with plans for both additional hydropower capacity and additional coal-fired generation to increase system reliability.

Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, based on

Principal contributors: Scott Jell

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