Philippines Merchant Electricity Prices: WESM

This webpage includes a database of electricity spot prices in the Philippines.  Spot prices in the Philippines are named wholesale electricity spot market prices or WESM.  The description below includes a database that begins in 2006 when the market began.  As with other merchant market pages, there is a step by step explanation of how to update the prices.  The WESM prices are converted to USD as with other prices and compared to coal and oil prices.

The Philippines has had a merchant electricity market since 2006.  These prices are updated periodically (when I have the honour to go and visit Philippines).  It is a bit painful to get hourly data for WESM electricity prices in the Philippines because you cannot read directly from one single source and use an automated download technique. The files that contain the hourly prices for WESM merchant prices are shown below. I don’t think you cannot go anywhere else and find excel files with all of the hourly data.

The first file is named WESM_HOURLY_DATABASE.  This file includes hourly prices since the beginning of the market in 2006.  That is a lot of hourly data.  In this file, the prices  PHP are converted to USD using a current exchange rate and then compared to natural gas prices in Asia using the world bank PINK data.  Because the file is so big, there is no valuation analysis of different kinds of plants.

Database File that Contains Hour by Hour Spot Elecricity Prices in the Philippines and Gas and Coal Prices (Luzon Region)

The second file is the WESM_VALUE_ANALYSIS. This file includes alternative graphs and value of different generating technologies evaluated against the market prices.

WESM Value Analysis.xls
Commodity Price File
To put the database together in USD you also need the Phillipines/USD exchange rates. The file that you can download below includes exchange rates and allows you to update the database. This database includes more exchange rates than the exchange rates available from the FRED website. You can see the mechanics of putting this database together by going to the currency database sheet.

Updating the WESM Merchant Electricity Price File by Yourself

Lets say that you want to update the file.  To do this, I have created a three step system to track historic price data, translate the price to USD and then put together a history of hourly merchant prices in USD/MWH. The reason I want USD per MWH is so that prices in the Philippines can be compared with prices around the world. You can also evaluate the profitability of solar and other resources against the market price.  Here are the steps to putting together a comprehensive database of the Philippines WESM prices:

STEP 1: Go to the WESM website and download month by month data in separate CSV files. Your can keep them in a different folder if you want. The URL for retrieving the these prices — the Generalized Wholesale Average Price (GWAP – maybe the abbreviation is wrong) is at the following link. You use this link to supplement the first file listed below that is named WESM Download template.

STEP 2: The second step is to put updated prices from all of the files that you download in the comprehensive database. You can go to the file named  WESM Hourly Database and then go to the sheet named current prices.  Note: as the file is very large, it is a very good idea to put the calculation onto MANUAL. Copy and paste the GWAP prices into the this current prices sheet of the database.  Read the data into colum B and make sure the columns are correct on the website. Then, when still on the current prices sheet, add 1/24 to the last date to get the titles in an hourly format. The numbers in column a can be incremented — they are there just so you can keep track of the number of hours you read in.

After you have read in the current prices, stay in the WESM Hourly Database and go to the page named “Hourly Database.”  Then put the counter in column 2 that is the same as the one in the “Current Prices Sheet.” This allows you to copy easly by double clicking on the data.

STEP 3: To complete the process you need to put the Philippines Exchange Rate and Commodity price data into the WESM Hourly Database file.

The commodity prices can be obtained from the World Bank Pink Data file. (You may need to check that the link is current because unfortunately the World Bank sometimes changes the url.)  Get the commodity price excel file (shown above) and then update the file.  Put the monthly prices in the PINK DATA sheet.

The Philippine Peso to USD exchange rate is a pain because it is not in FRED and the sources have changed.  I found a website that has the daily data and created a file you can use to read the data. This file is named “Get Historic Exchange Rates” as shown in the file list above.  I made a video that shows how to use this file that is shown at the bottom of the page.

STEP 4: To complete the process, open the WESM VALUE ANALYSIS file and paste special the database file data.  You may have to go to the NAMES page and add space to the dropdown boxes. In addition, you may have to go to the “data analysis for graph” and insert added formulas at the left columns.

Lessons from Historic Database of Philippines Merchant Prices

Once you have put together the together the file named WESM Hourly Database, you can do a lot of analysis. Some analysis of the economic value of different technologies in the file named WESM Value Analysis (which is a very large file because of analysis with hourly data). To manage this file you should first copy the data from the hourly database into the file. This file has a whole bunch of advanced techniques for graphing data with different time scales and do other analysis.

The Philippines experience is a little like Turkey. The prices have been higher than in other markets even after adjusting for high natural gas prices that are experienced in Asia. But as usual, the high prices prompt a lot of building (even though new coal plants have PPA agreements, the WESM provides a benchmark). With the new building, prices have been falling in the past few years.

Video Explanations of WESM Database