Extreme heat shuts power plants and risks blackouts


A heatwave in the Philippines forced power plants to shut down, placing the country at risk of blackouts and prompting the government to call on people to reduce consumption.

Nineteen generators are offline, while three others are running on reduced capacity, on the main Luzon Island, the National Grid Corp of the Philippines said in a post on its Facebook page yesterday.

The grid has been placed on red alert for the first time in almost a year, meaning supply is seen as insufficient to meet demand, it said.

Hotter weather both increases electricity demand for fans and air conditioning and makes it harder for plants to prevent overheating.

A dozen facilities are also shut in the Visayas grid, which is on yellow alert, meaning the margin of supply is under a contingency threshold.

The Philippines’ weather agency said in January that 2024 may be one of the warmest years on record for the country, threatening to stretch the nation’s grid.

The heat index, which combines air temperature and humidity, will climb as high as 42°C in Central Luzon today, according to the local weather agency.

Businesses and households are being encouraged to reduce power usage during peak demand hours, the Energy Department said. — Bloomberg

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