Tuesday, May 31, 2022

BWorld 541, Post-election economic issues to prepare for

 * My article in BusinessWorld last May 9.

By the time this column is printed and posted online, the elections would have ended and counting should have started. I want to share some things related to the campaign rallies, then some post-election economic scenarios.


I attended the last campaign sortie of the Leni Robredo-Kiko Pangilinan tandem on Ayala Ave., Makati City on Saturday, May 7. I was there for about 10 hours — afternoon to midnight — and here are some of my observations.

1. It was a huge crowd — estimates range from 700,000 to one million people. Ayala is long, eight-lanes wide, with wide sidewalks, and several wide perpendicular streets, which were all filled with people.

2. There were lots of freebies — from many private volunteer groups giving free medical assistance to free ice cream, taho (street food of tofu, syrup, and sago pearls), bread, cookies, and candies, to plastic fans and even free condoms. But there were no free T-shirts and caps from the candidates — people had to buy these from ambulant shops in the area.

3. They were civilized citizens — no pushing or shoving by people when they moved in an already dense area. After the event ended, there were many groups of volunteer sweepers and cleaners. One group I saw were rich-looking Filipino-Chinese who were awkwardly sweeping, suggesting that they are not used to doing it and have helpers at home who sweep the floor for them.

4. Security was decentralized — everyone has a mobile phone so any attempt at sowing disorder will likely be recorded and perpetrators likely be apprehended. But there were a few reports of petty stealing, like lost cell phones and wallets, or perhaps people dropped them somewhere.

5. High police visibility — most were unarmed, they just held a baton. After the concert ended and shortly before midnight, I looked for the PNP (Philippine National Police) head in the rally. I was guided to Police Lt. Col. Randy Moratalla, Deputy Chief for Administration of Makati PNP. He was the highest PNP official at the time when I came. I introduced myself as a BusinessWorld columnist and wanted to congratulate them on a peaceful rally. He quickly accommodated me and said that the PNP National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) plus Makati police had deployed around 700 police officers that day. The high visibility of uniformed cops not carrying guns helped preserve order and trust. Good job, PNP.

6. High visibility of Ayala security — to remind people that it is not a public park and there are private properties that can be damaged if there are unruly people, like the center-island flowers and glass buildings. Thanks for the nice wide venue, Ayala Corp.


When the next administration comes in, among the high-profile economic issues they will face will be the high government spending that will require high borrowing and high taxes. The Philippines’ government spending share to GDP (G/GDP) ratio was 21.7% in 2019, and it rose to 26.8% in 2021 or a 5.2 percentage point increase in just two years. This is the second highest increase in the ASEAN-6.

Take note that this is only general or national government spending and does not include spending by local governments. If local government spending is included, we would likely be in the 32-35% of GDP level or nearly twice that of Singapore which has no local governments. Socialist Vietnam has a low G/GDP ratio of only 20%. Very likely excluded in their numbers are the spending of state-owned enterprises and banks, and local governments (Table 1).

The Philippine bureaucracy and political class, from national down to barangay level, kept receiving their salaries, allowances, and bonuses even when many people in the private sector lost their businesses, jobs, and income during the lockdowns of 2020-2021. Really unfair.

The pandemic per se cannot be blamed for this anomaly because the same virus affected Asia and the rest of the world, which had different economic outcomes because different governments have different responses. In 2020, while the Philippines had a GDP contraction of 9.6%, Vietnam grew by 2.9% and Taiwan had growth of 3.4%.

Rising government spending even if revenues are declining means increased borrowing.

The Philippines’ gross debt/GDP ratio of 37% in 2019 rose to 57.5% in 2021 or 20.6 percentage points increase in just two years. It is the highest increase in the ASEAN-6.

Note also the huge increase in public debt of G7 countries including Japan. Only Germany in the G7 has not reached the 100% debt/GDP ratio in 2020-2021. This means those huge governments will keep borrowing huge amounts to pay old debts and push global interest rates even higher, which is not good (Table 2).

Overall, we will have more bad news than good news on the economic front. As US-EU economic sanctions against Russia expand, more commodities — from oil-gas-coal to minerals to agriculture and livestock — will be affected, supply restricted, and prices, and national and global inflation rates will further rise. Then global interest rates will further rise, and the taxes needed to pay high spending and borrowings will rise too.

There are many other economic issues to prepare for but suffice it to say that the next administration should make serious cuts in spending, cuts in borrowings, in order to limit tax hikes. Campaign promises to expand subsidies and spending should be relegated to one side as much as possible.

If spending cuts cannot be done, another option is to have large-scale privatization of government assets and enterprises, from wide lands to non-essential “services” like operating casinos and lotteries. Use privatization proceeds to retire some public debt to reduce principal and interest expenses.

See also:
BWorld 538, Energy prices and renewables-gas lobby, May 07, 2022 
BWorld 539, Under scarcity: Leni service, BBM welfarism, and Isko overspending, May 11, 2022
BWorld 540, Power supply-demand in elections, nuclear energy, and transmission issues, May 30, 2022.

Macroecon 17, Germany's near half-century inflation rate

Germany inflation rate May 2022 is 7.9%, the highest since Dec. 1973, and almost same level in early 1952. 

Source: Trading Economics

Only -0.3% until Dec. 2020, started rising in Jan. 2021 with 1.0%, jumped to 4.9% by Jan. 2022 pre-invasion of Ukraine. Hence, no excuse blaming the Ukraine war as ain cause of inflationary pressure. By Feb 2022 when Russia invaded Ukraine, inflation rose to 5.1%, then March to May 7.3%, 7.4%, 7.9%.

See related reports:

1. German inflation at highest level in nearly half a century
Reuters, MAY 30 20229:36 AM EDT

2. German inflation reaches highest in nearly 50 years
First Published: May 30, 2022 at 8:14 a.m. ET

High energy prices, Germany's and EU's beloved wind-solar did not produce enough power and they have to buy more oil-gas to avoid blackout and prices were rising then. Europe and the world experienced less-windy, less-sunny, more cloudy 2021.

Merkel was a physicist. When she became a big time politician, her political science has prevailed over her physics natural science. And Germany climate-energy policy pivoted away from real natural science and moved towards media-NGOs-multilaterals political science.

Germany is now led by SPD (the political socialists) + Greens (the ecological socialists) + FDP (confused liberals?)

I really wished last year that FDP + CDU + AfD would have been a better coalition than SPD + Greens + FDP.

See also:
Macroecon 14, Macro indicators, inflation rates in selected countries, September 23, 2021
Macroecon 15, US trade, inflation, public debt, November 12, 2021 
Macroecon 16, US inflation classmates in March 2022, April 19, 2022

Monday, May 30, 2022

BWorld 540, Power supply-demand in elections, nuclear energy, and transmission issues

* This is my column in BusinessWorld last May 2. Late repost.

The Presidential and local elections next week generate not only political heat and drama but also climate and energy drama from some sectors that are warning of “power outages during elections amid coal plant shutdowns.”

Blackouts during elections because of coal-plant shutdowns — this is nice scare mongering to attract public attention. This is part of the overall plan to endlessly demonize coal power plants (which contributed 57% of total power generation in the Philippines in 2020) so that the agenda of pushing intermittent renewables plus gas will be hastened.

Last Friday, April 29, I attended the media briefing of the Independent Electricity Market Operator of the Philippines (IEMOP) and among the topics discussed was the power supply-demand projection for the second and third quarters of 2022, more specifically on election week.

IEMOP noted that during election day in 2019, peak power supply in the Luzon grid was 10,706 MW and peak demand that day was 8,962 MW, for a comfortable margin of 1,744 MW. And during election day in 2016, peak supply in the Luzon grid was 10,329 MW while peak demand that day was 7,721 MW, thus there was a wide margin of 2,608 MW.

The market operator listed the scheduled (maintenance) shutdowns until September, and made four supply-demand projections under four assumptions. For purposes of brevity, I will show only the most pessimistic assumption or scenario: Typical monthly offers with no additional capacities, and 1,000 MW in unplanned outage. The result for next week is a comfortable margin of 2,381 MW, minus the reserve requirement 1,722 MW and still having a net margin of 659 MW (Table 1).

So there. The assumptions are tilted towards the pessimistic scenario to widen the buffer for reserves. And still there are no blackouts foreseen. The public should be wary of scare mongering to further demonize coal, invite blackout economics, and push climate and business agendas.


Related to stabilizing power supply in the country, the Philippine Independent Power Producers Association, Inc. (PIPPA) was reported in some news outlets as urging the National Grid Corp. of the Philippines (NGCP) to hasten the greater interconnection of power supply and demand areas via providing more sufficient transmission lines and assets.

PIPPA said there are 1,000+ MW of stranded capacity in Bataan and Quezon due to transmission line limitations; another 1,000+ MW of power surplus in Mindanao that cannot be exported to the Visayas and Luzon; and hundreds of MW of mostly renewables stranded capacity in Cebu, Negros, and Panay as the inter-island transmission lines are not fully operational or remain not expanded. Good reminders, PIPPA.


Last Saturday, April 30, I gave a talk — “If Leni wins, or if BBM wins, how will their policies affect our lives and businesses?” — for personnel and officers of China Bank Savings (CBS). I thanked Jo Fernandez for the invitation. My presentation was mostly quantitative, which complemented the bank’s prior session on non-partisan voter education, on what to expect and do during election day itself.

While my talk was mostly about economics, I devoted two slides comparing the energy policies of Vice-President Leni Robredo, Bongbong Marcos, Jr. (BBM), and Isko Moreno. All of them are in favor of more renewables, and while Robredo and Moreno are either non-supportive of or oppose nuclear power, Marcos is explicitly supportive of developing nuclear power.

In a previous column, I noted that the BBM-Sara team is engaged in deception and dishonesty in promoting the “golden age” of Ferdinand Marcos’ Martial Law years and the “good economic management” of the current administration (see https://www.bworldonline.com/opinion/2022/03/21/437319/a-campaign-of-disinformation/, March 21). But I must give credit to BBM for supporting nuclear power development in the country.

Nuclear power has the highest energy density of all energy sources, hundreds or thousand times higher than fossil fuels coal-gas-oil, and much higher than geothermal and hydro, more so intermittent renewables solar-wind.

If the Bataan Nuclear Power Plant (BNPP), a huge 620-MW plant, was allowed to operate in 1984 or 1985, the Philippines and South Korea would have been “nuke classmates.” In 2020, our total power generation from all sources was 101 TWH (terawatt-hour) — comparable to Korea’s 103 TWH from nuke power alone in 1999.

I showed a table on comparative nuclear power generation in my talk at CBS. I expanded it here in Table 2 to show their share to total generation. France, Belgium, Sweden, and Taiwan were the most nuclear-intensive users in the 1980s. France was 77% reliant on nuclear power in 2000 and 67% in 2020. France is the biggest electricity exporter in the European Union and seems to have no recorded nuclear accident, which is the main concern of many anti-nuke groups.

The next administration should seriously consider developing nuclear power, at least small modular reactors (SMRs) that can be put up and dispatched in big island-provinces like Bohol, Mindoro, Masbate, and Palawan.

And back to coal. The United Kingdom and Germany were 60% coal power-reliant until 1985. By 2020, it was down to 24% in Germany and only 2% in the UK. Big and poor countries China and India reach up to 78% coal use and this is one of the major contributors to their having lifted hundreds of millions of their people from poverty — by having cheap, stable, dispatchable energy for businesses and households.

There is no “man-made” climate crisis that necessitates demonizing and abandoning fossil fuels. There is only natural or “nature-made” climate change, a warming-cooling cycle that characterized our planet’s climate since 4.6 billion years ago. Thus, the government should not distort our power supply-demand dynamics via more politics and energy rationing. Government should not impose more carbon taxes or oil taxes. We should have cheap, competitively priced, stable, and dispatchable on-demand energy.

See also:
BWorld 537, Duterte’s Philippine Economic Debriefing, April 19, 2022
BWorld 538, Energy prices and renewables-gas lobby, May 07, 2022
BWorld 539, Under scarcity: Leni service, BBM welfarism, and Isko overspending, May 11, 2022.

Wednesday, May 11, 2022

Winners and losers in the 2022 elections, by Jop Yap

This is what my friend, Dr. Josef "Jop" Yap, former President of the Philippine Institute for Development Studies (PIDS), wrote about the PH elections last Monday. Enjoy.

given a chance, e.g. Chel Diokno.

Perhaps that is what many politicians lack nowadays: a dose of humility. What will bring that about? Being overtaken by Viet Nam? Or suddenly waking up one day to find out that Cambodia, Lao PDR, and Myanmar have surpassed us? But I am not holding my breath waiting for change to happen. Till 2028 then."


See also other articles by Jop here:
Welfare Economics: Philippine Institutional Issues, November 14, 2011 
Free Trade 33: ASEAN Economic Community 2016, February 16, 2014 
Winners and losers in the 2016 elections, by Dr. Jop Yap, May 10, 2016
Telcos, Pacquiao and China, by Dr. Jop Yap, July 13, 2016
Jop Yap on Trump-Putin connection, November 12, 2016.

Sunday, May 08, 2022

Weekend Fun 82, Bawal Party, BBM supporters

I like this old poster, Bawal (Prohibition) Party, and yet "everything is  permitted", haha.

Meanwhile, I posted this in my fb wall yday. Not alluding to anyone and yet it seems most pro-BBM and pro-Isko supporters feel they are being alluded to. Well, elections are always emotionally charged. My wall is public anyway, so these comments are visible in public, reposting them here.


See also:
Weekend Fun 79, Ang Ano, by PRRD, August 29, 2021
Weekend Fun 80, Political jokes for 2022 elections, October 10, 2021
Weekend Fun 81, Sic o'clock News - Rewind, January 15, 2022.

BWorld 539, Under scarcity: Leni service, BBM welfarism, and Isko overspending

* My article in BusinessWorld last April 25.

The first lesson of economics is scarcity: there is never enough of anything to fully satisfy all those who want it. The first lesson of politics is to disregard the first lesson of economics. 
— Thomas Sowell, American economist, historian and social theorist

This piece will quickly review some of the fiscal and economic performances of the three leading candidates for President in the coming May 9 elections — Vice-President Leni Robredo, former Senator Bongbong Marcos (BBM), and Manila Mayor Isko Moreno.


Ms. Robredo is a graduate of the University of the Philippines School of Economics (UPSE) batch 1986, before she took up Law. More than 400 of her fellow alumni and some 150+ students signed a Manifesto expressing support for her and her running mate Kiko Pangilinan for Vice-President. The signature drive was initiated in early March and cut off was March 31. Alumni range from as old as batch 1968 to batch 2019.

The main reason given by the nearly 600 UPSE alumni and students for their support is that the Leni-Kiko pair is “subok na sa kakayanan at integridad at may track record. Si VP Leni ay ekonomista at isang public interest lawyer…. Si Kiko ay abogado (UP Law batch 1993) at batikang Senador (tested in competence and integrity and has a track record. VP Leni is an economist and a public interest lawyer… Kiko is a lawyer (UP Law batch 1993) and a veteran senator).”

VP Leni has shown that having big agency budgets via big taxes and huge borrowings is not a guarantee of real public service and improving the ordinary Filipinos’ lives. The budget for six years (2017-2022) of the Office of the Vice-President (OVP) was only P0.6 to P0.9 billion a year, always below P1B/year. The total budget for 2022 is P5 trillion, of which the OVP budget is only P0.71 billion, or 0.0001 or 1% of 1%. Thus, for every P100 in total budget, the OVP budget is only P0.01 or 1 centavo. Compare that to the budget of the Office of the President (OP) amounting to P8.24 billion plus discretionary and intelligence funds and other offices of P65.1 billion.

And yet VP Leni was able to inspire confidence and transparency and attracted many private donations during the pandemic that enabled her office to deliver PPEs to many frontline health workers and COVID treatment kits to poor households.

In Table 1, Other Executive Offices (OEO) under the OP include, among others, the Presidential Management Staff (PMS), National Intelligence Coordinating Agency (NICA), National Security Council (NSC), and the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP).


Of public achievement over the past six years, BBM practically has none. His own official website shows no private business engagement, no government position even as a consultant — 2016-2022 is blank. He just spent the past six years campaigning and revising Philippine history to say that the country had great economic performance, often referred as “the golden years,” under his father’s Presidency from 1966-1985.

So, achievement-wise — zero. Yet he promises plenty of welfarist, bordering on socialistic, programs: 1.) free health insurance for all senior citizens, rich and poor; 2.) subsidized food nationwide via permanent Kadiwa rolling stores in every barangay; 3.) free EDSA Carousel rides all year round; 4.) immunization registry and mass vaccination in every local government unit (LGU); and, 5.) energy rationing by killing all coal plants and use mainly renewables.

He and his running mate Sara Duterte also promise to continue many economic programs of the current administration. Well, the Philippines had a GDP contraction of -9.6% in 2020, the worst in Asia that year and the worst in Philippine economic history since the post-World War 2 era. Public debt also rose big time, from P8.22 trillion (actual and guaranteed) in 2019 to P10.25 trillion in 2020, P12.15 trillion in 2021, and P12.51 as of February 2022. High public debt will require high and multiple taxes.

From 2016 to 2021, the Philippines has had the lowest increase in per capita income among the ASEAN-6 — only 15%, while Vietnam has had 37%, Singapore 28%, while Malaysia, Indonesia, and Thailand have had 19-22% (Table 2).


While VP Leni’s office has an annual budget of only P0.6 to P0.9 billion a year for the past six years, Isko Moreno as Manila Mayor has had expenditures of P30 billion in 2021 and P71 billion in 2022. He is the only Mayor in the National Capital Region (NCR) to undertake annual and large-scale privatization of city assets. Here are the revenues or proceeds from the sale of City government assets: P90 million in 2019, P4.936 billion in 2020, P14.761 billion in 2021, and P44.146 billion in 2022.

So, with huge one-time revenues, he splurged in huge public spending. The ending share of Manila City’s expenditures to total NCR (16 cities and one municipality) rose from 10% in 2019 to 22% in 2022. (Table 3).

Let’s go back to the quote of Dr. Thomas Sowell. VP Leni is a practitioner of doing public service while given a very small budget and resources. BBM and Isko are the politicians who disregard the lesson of scarcity and just spend huge amounts or promise to spend for huge freebies. These spend-spend-spend politicians will also be the tax-tax-tax authoritarians when they splurge on nationwide public spending. Voters will note this when they cast their votes in two weeks.

See also:
BWorld 536, Electoral campaigns, vaccination and causes of deaths, April 13, 2022
BWorld 537, Duterte’s Philippine Economic Debriefing, April 19, 2022
BWorld 538, Energy prices and renewables-gas lobby, May 07, 2022.

Election 2022, Presentation at CBS

Last week, I gave an online lecture at some personnel and officers of China Bank Savings. Have 26 slides including cover, showing half of them here. Enjoy.

Saturday, May 07, 2022

BWorld 538, Energy prices and renewables-gas lobby

* My column in BusinessWorld last April 18.

There are some eyebrow-raising developments in the global and domestic energy situation captured by these recent reports in BusinessWorld:

1.) “Transition to renewables seen accelerating in response to high price of imported fuel” (March 29)

2.) “Fitch Solutions bullish on PHL power industry decarbonization” (April 7)

3.) “Think tank says hidden costs erode appeal of cheap coal power” (April 10)

4.) “ACEN to refinance unit’s loan, reinvest in renewables” (April 12)

5.) “Power rates up in April as generation charge rises” (April 12)

6.) “Battery storage seen as critical for RE adoption” (April 13).

I say “eyebrow-raising” because the expected rise in fuel and electricity prices due to the Ukraine war and stiff economic sanctions against Russia are used to further demonize fossil fuels and coal power in particular and invite blackout economics to come back in the Philippines and other countries.

For instance, report Nos. 1, 2, and 6 are about decarbonization and high imported fuel (oil, coal) — but prices of lithium, cobalt, manganese, nickel, zinc, other metals to produce solar PV, batteries for e-cars and battery energy storage system (BESS) are also high. And the price of indigenous Malampaya gas will also rise.

Report No. 3 quotes Redentor Constantino,  Executive Director of the Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities, as saying “A quick look at actual coal generation costs of major distribution utilities shows that these costs range from over P4 per kilowatt-hour to approaching P9 pesos per kWh. Not only are these costs much higher than expected but they are also volatile as they reflect ‘Pasaload’ of fuel costs to the consumer.” But Mr. Constantino is silent on the “Pasablackout” of intermittent power to the consumers when the wind does not blow and the sun is covered by thick clouds, when it rains, or it is absent at night.

Report No. 4 is about Ayala Energy’s (ACEN) 244 MW Calaca, Batangas coal plant which will be decommissioned by 2025 — 15 years ahead of end of the end of its technical life — following the Energy Transition Mechanism (ETM) of the Asian Development Bank (ADB). Ayala Energy and ADB want to further thin out already thin reserves of stable, dispatchable coal power and risk blackout economics. See this column’s piece, “ADB’s kill coal plan, government corporations, and power transmission” (Sept. 13, 2021).

And report No. 5 is expected — Meralco has to raise our electricity bill by P0.536/kwh because the cost of various components has increased: generation increased by P0.399/kwh, transmission + subsidies + system loss + taxes have increased by P0.138/kwh.

A populist and renewables lobby NGO, People for Power (P4P), led by Gerry Arances, staged a rally and issued a press release, Consumers protest Meralco greed amid new power rate hike (April 13) arguing that “coal, gas, other fossil fuels for our power supply is an electricity affordability disaster.”

Two items are wrong in the Arances “analysis”:

1.) the idea of “Meralco greed” which is disproven by the numbers in the preceding paragraph. All increases in the April electricity bill came from generation, transmission, subsidies, and taxes. There is no increase in Meralco’s distribution cost, which has been stable for nearly seven years now since July 2015.

And, 2.) “coal, fossil fuels electricity affordability disaster,” which is far out. It should be “solar-wind electricity affordability disaster” as countries that have big share of coal to total power generation like our neighbors Vietnam, Malaysia, and Indonesia have very low power prices while Europeans with a big solar-wind share to total generation like Spain, the Netherlands, Italy, the UK, and Germany have prices that are two to three times more expensive than the mentioned ASEAN countries (see Table 1). See also this column’s recent piece, “The effects of Biden and sanctions on energy and commodity prices” (March 28).

In another paper, “Profiting from outages,” Pedro Maniego cherry-picked two out of 365 days in 2021 when there was a price spike because several big coal plants extended their maintenance shutdowns, so he blames the other coal plants that continued running as profiting.

Because of this, he invites government to issue another intervention: “The regulators should investigate whether any of these dominant players who own or operate the coal plants with extended and frequent outages, benefited from the higher WESM (Wholesale Electricity Spot Market) rates.”

So, “who is profiting from the power outages” and by extension, who is profiting from thin reserves? I think the answer to both questions are the sellers of gensets, candles, and fire insurance. When there are frequent thin reserves, frequent yellow-red alerts and rotating blackouts, the rich buy gensets and the poor buy candles. More candles often lead to more fires, so there is need to buy fire insurance for one’s office and other properties.

Notice that Mr. Maniego’s paper calls for the harassment of coal plants, but not of gas plants that also experience occasional extended shutdowns and derating, or solar-wind plants that produce zero or little power when the wind does not blow and the sun is covered by thick clouds or absent at night.

And going back to the complaint of Messrs. Constantino, Arances, and Maniego that coal plants create expensive electricity — coal fuel used to be cheap, below $100/ton, but the continuing global war and underinvestment in coal mining and power plants led to tighter supply. Notice the increase in price from April 2021 to pre-invasion Feb. 23, 2022.

The gas plants in Batangas using Malampaya gas will raise their prices too because Malampaya gas prices are indexed or based on Dubai crude prices. This will start in next month’s billing as Malampaya gas prices are adjusted quarterly.

The big gas plants that are being built to use imported LNG will also charge higher prices when they start operating because LNG supply is tight, as shown in US natgas and TTF/EU gas prices.

And as mentioned above, the prices of commodities that are used to manufacture solar PV, e-car batteries, and BESS are also rising. In fact, the year-on-year (yoy) percent increase in lithium prices is six times larger than WTI and Dubai crude, four times larger than the uranium nuke price, and twice that of coal and UK gas prices (see Table 2).

The main reason why “net-zero” and decarbonize-obsessed Europe endured expensive oil-gas-coal (to avoid blackouts) even before the invasion of Ukraine is because their beloved wind-solar energy produced little power due to the less-windy, often cloudy years, 2021 and 2022.

It seems the Ukraine war will be prolonged and the sanctions against Russia and its ally trade partners will last even longer. We should expand, not shrink, our power sources. The war against coal should stop, let more coal, gas, oil, nuclear, hydro, even intermittent wind-solar plants with BESS be built. And let them compete in prices and supply stability.

I and many power consumers have “vested interests” in the energy debate: I want stable electricity, no blackouts even for a minute, no unnecessary damage to my home appliances, lights, and gadgets due to power fluctuations. I want there to be no need to buy gensets or candles. A price hike for a few days is ok as long as stable, competitive prices return for the rest of the year with no blackouts.

And please, do not ask the government for more intervention, investigation, and harassment in the competitive power generation sector. Let stiff competition be the main regulator among many private gencos. The government should instead focus its regulation and investigation on the monopoly transmission sector.

See also:
BWorld 535, The effects of Biden and sanctions on energy and commodity prices, April 12, 2022
BWorld 536, Electoral campaigns, vaccination and causes of deaths, April 13, 2022
BWorld 537, Duterte’s Philippine Economic Debriefing, April 19, 2022.

Energy 164, More Europe energy agony

Guys, enjoy these reports.

1. Government Minister Tells Germans to Cope With Soaring Energy Costs by Wearing Warmer Sweaters
“You can withstand 15 degrees in winter in a sweater. No one dies of it.”
Paul Joseph Watson  March 29, 2022 

2. Energy Debt Owed by U.K. Families Could Leap 50%, CEOs Say
ByRachel Morison, Will Mathis, and Todd Gillespie
April 19, 2022, 6:23 PM GMT+8

3. UK Energy Execs Tell MPs That "Fuel Poverty" Will Crush Households Into Debt

4. Italy puts 25C limit on air conditioning as Ukraine crisis forces energy rationing
‘Operation thermostat’ initiative aimed at helping country avert shortages and ministers sign gas deal with Angola
Angela Giuffrida in Rome. Thu 21 Apr 2022 02.10 BST

5. “Operation Thermostat”: Energy rationing & the pivot from Ukraine to climate?
Kit Knightly  Apr 22, 2022

6. Energy firms asked to keep burning coal as ministers fight to keep lights on
Coal operations set to be extended beyond planned September shut-off
By Rachel Millard   27 April 2022 • 9:44pm

7. Coal has lots of staying power
Apr 27, 2022

8. China ignores climate pledges, tops list in building new coal plants
ANI   27 April, 2022 10:30 pm IST

9. Asset Managers Are Ignoring Climate “Science” and Continuing to Fund Fossil Fuels!
David Middleton April 28, 2022


10. Bank of England warns energy bills will hit £2,800 and inflation will surge to 10%
The cost of living will hit a record high this year, the Bank of England is warning, with inflation due to hit 10% and the price of energy bills and food likely to keep rising
Graham HiscottHead of BusinessSam Barker. 12:18, 5 May 2022

11. 'Bad boys' are back: India doubles down on coal as heatwave worsens power crisis
By Nupur Anand and Sudarshan Varadhan May 6, 2022

12. India Asks Coal Plants to Run Flat Out to Ease Power Crisis
* Government invokes rare provisions amid widespread blackouts
* Decision impacts power producers using expensive imported coal
By Rajesh Kumar Singh May 6, 2022, 3:37 PM GMT+8

13. Wrangle over EU carbon market revamp threatens climate targets
By Kate Abnett May 7, 2022. 3:29 AM GMT+8

See also:
Energy 161, No Tricks Zone on Europe energy situation, e-cars, February 24, 2022
Energy 162, Russia fossil fuels trade, random notes, March 25, 2022
Energy 163, Impact of sanctions on energy supply in Germany, rest of Europe, April 03, 2022