Group questions grid readiness for RES wave

Screengrabbed from DNX News Facebook Video

By Dolly Yasa

BACOLOD CITY – Power Watch Negros, commended the recent Power Summit organized by the provincial government of Negros Occidental, which aimed to create a “road map” for transitioning to renewable energy sources (RES) from 2025-2030.

Power Watch Negros Secretary-General Wennie Sancho expressed concerns about the “state of readiness” of the transmission grid to handle the forthcoming influx of renewable energy.

“To enhance our renewable electricity base, we must construct more high-voltage lines to make the future grid more resilient in dealing with the intermittency of renewables,” Sancho said.

He raised questions that concern some observers: “What if the sun isn’t shining? What if the wind isn’t blowing in one area?”

Sancho emphasized that power grids are fundamental to the energy system and play a crucial role in the energy transition by facilitating the adoption of RES.

“To meet the growing demand for RES, integration into the existing power grids is essential, yet numerous challenges must be overcome,” he added.

He noted that the transition to RES, coupled with economic growth, will cause electricity demand to surge, increasing by 40% from 2024 to 2030 and doubling by 2050.

Industry experts highlight that distribution utilities will face significant challenges in integrating RES into electrical grids, particularly in Negros Island. The issues include network inadequacy due to physical capacity limitations and network instability from intermittent power sources such as solar and wind, which contribute to higher frequency and voltage volatility.

“Our grids were originally designed for a slower, less volatile energy system, not for the rapid integration of diverse energy sources,” Sancho explained.

He suggested that addressing these challenges should be a priority in the agenda of the next Power Summit as part of ongoing efforts.

“It is a fact that our transmission grids, built with equipment averaging 20-30 years old, are now reaching or have surpassed their useful and reliability lifespan,” Sancho said. “Upgrading the transmission grid is challenging due to the complex regulatory environment.”

Sancho concluded by emphasizing the need for complex balancing services and a restructuring of the coordination processes between transmission and distribution system operators to support RES integration.


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