The Philippines has a lot of nice resorts where people can go and relax and get close to nature. However, not many of these resorts have made full use of what nature gives that could help them operate better or give an enhanced client experience. We are talking about the use of solar energy to meet some or all of the electricity demand of a resort.
Here, we give seven good reasons why these resorts, especially those remote ones, should put solar panels on their roof:
- Saves money. On average, the Philippines get 5 hours 45 minutes of sunlight per day. That means a lot of free energy. For example, one generic small panel of 0.8 meter by 0.5 meter size can produce about 240W (nominal 300W) per hour. A 2.5HP aircon consumes about 2700 watts. If each day we get 5 hours of sunlight, while we use 8 hours of airconditioning, 18 panels of that size can meet the electricity demand that is equivalent to the electricity consumption of that one air-conditioner.
The cost of electricity is high in the Philippines. In Metro Manila, it costs at least P10 per kilowatt hour of electricity. Using the same example above, in one month, the electricity bill from that air conditioner would be P6,480, while a 54kW solar panel grid-tied system (18 of the above panels) costs about P540,000, a pay-back period of about seven years. After the initial investment, the monthly electricity bill for that appliance basically disappears.
- Reliable power. Every year, typhoons visit the Philippines. The strong ones often bring down power lines, causing black out in places. Solar panels, properly installed, are able to withstand strong winds (but not hard objects fell on them.) Thus, when sunny days return, or if your system includes a battery, you will continue to have power, even while the grid is being repaired. In 2021, typhoon Odette hit many parts of the Philippines. It took more than one month for the grid to return electricity to Siargao.
- Reduces carbon footprint. Over half of the energy supply in the Philippines (2020 data) is from coal and oil, which releases a lot of carbon into the atmosphere when they are used in energy production. This contributes to climate change. A lot of tourists are keen to do their part to reduce carbon footprint.
- Less noise. If diesel generators are used in a resort to provide or supplement their power supply, staying guests will be disturbed by the noise from these generators, and take this into account in giving reviews about the resort. Solar energy can be stored in batteries that can be used either regularly or as a backup power, and it can hardly be heard.
- Less air pollution. Even if they cannot hear it, they may be able to smell it. Diesel generators give off noticeable odor when in operation. The particulate matters are harmful to our respiratory system. This is bad for both visitors and people working in the hotel.
- Energy security. In 2020, only 24% of the Philippines’ energy sources is renewable. At the same time, the Malampaya gas fields, supplying 30% of Luzon`s energy consumption, are expected to be depleted by 2024. Frequent brownouts can be expected by then all over the Philippines if we do not act now.
- Financing is readily available. If a resort owner does not have the capital to buy a solar panel system right away, this should not be a reason not to do it any more, because financing for solar power system is readily available in the Philippines. Many banks, such as Land Bank and RCBC, have issued so called “Green Bonds” in the last few years, borrowing from international lenders at low interest rate for lending to green projects (that include solar power system) in the Philippines. Resort owners who lack capital to invest in a solar power system can apply to these banks for loans, and the low interest rates (under 3% per annum) that these banks got from investors should be passed on to borrowers for green projects.
If you still do not believe it, watch this video, in which Mr Peter Wilson, CEO of Solarius Energy, gives his take on the adoption of solar power systems in the Philippines. It seems that many resort owners are considering it. Do not be left behind.