The Philippines being only a tiny producer of energy has the average Filipino still paying a high price for its fuel. Some donated or government funded efforts to power barrios and villages in the Provinces have already been available for almost 10 years now, and solar energy to power heating in our showers for about 20 years now, but it is in these times that a commercial alternative for more solar use is slowly becoming viable.
In Tanauan City Batangas, there is already a factory called SunPower Corporation designs, manufactures and markets high-performance solar electric technology worldwide. For other different home use brands, a solar water heater systems from Solahart costs around P60K propose roi in 3 to 5 years. An 80 watt single panel power system sold by Solarco costs P70K. This is connected to a DC car battery that can run 5-8 pieces of 11 watt light bulbs for 6 hours. In AC mode for your outlets, an inverter will be needed and runs up the cost for several more batteries.
What if you would like to power your whole house with solar electricity are things like the refrigerator, the lights, the computer, the TV, stereo equipment, motors in things like dryer, washer, etc. According to howstuffworks, a solar panel that contains 4 cells can produce 0.45 volts and 100 milliamps, or 45 milliwatts each cell. Each cell measures 2 inches by 0.5 inches. In other words, with these solar cells you can generate 45 milliwatts in one square inch (6.45 square cm). For the sake of discussion, let's assume that a panel can generate 70 milliwatts per square inch. Let's say that all of those things average out to 600 watts on average. Over the course of 24 hours, you need 600 watts * 24 hours = 14,400 watt-hours per day.
From their calculations and assumptions above, we know that a solar panel can generate 70 milliwatts per square inch * 5 hours = 350 milliwatt hours per day. Therefore you need about 41,000 square inches of solar panel for the house. That's a solar panel that measures about 285 square feet (about 26 square meters). That would cost around $16,000 right now, or 704,000 pesos at 44:$1. Then, because the sun only shines part of the time, you would need to purchase a battery bank, an inverter, etc., and that often doubles the cost of the installation.
If you want to have a small room air conditioner in your bedroom, double everything. With these figures, we can see that solar power is only for those that can afford it, and roof space may already be an issue. How much paneling could you fit on top of a small townhouse in Manila that would need about two air conditioned rooms? Needless to say, the bigger the house, the proportionate roof space vis a vis electric demand increases.
In your average 6 to 10 million peso town house in manila, would it be feasible to invest in a 1.5 million peso solar panel setup (assuming it would fit 50 square meters of roof)? Your electric bill would average maybe 5 to 7 thousand pesos per month, and that would be on a minimal refrigerator and air condition use. That would give you a shocking 17 year ROI on your investment, and would cost 20% of your house!
That is why commercially availble solar technology in the Philippines is used primarily for shower heat and lighting needs in affluent homes. If the average 700K php would be used to power minor heating and light bulb needs, it would be assumed that the usage would only be available during optimal sunny conditions. For storage, one would have ample batteries packing the energy. An average household might use 10Kwh per day. seven days stored power ? would be 70Kwh, or maybe about 145 car batteries might do it.
Needless to say, although varying strength of wind is available day and night, it is not constantly available 24 hours. That is why there is not much info and usage of home wind power in the internet, even though it costs 1/2 of solar paneling. Two more letdowns for this would have to be, again, a lot of batteries to store un-constant wind generated electricity, and zoning laws. City ordinances would have to be redone to allow for unsightly windmills that would have to be placed much higher than average two storey rooftops to have optimized effect.
Anyway, even as we speak, research to alternative means to the traditional costly nickel batteries are doing well, and an oxygen hydrogen battery may be used in the future for cheaper electric storage.
In the past we all had unsightly television antennas, it was okay because there was no alternative. So I guess in the future, unsightly positioned windmills and solar panels (when they become cheaper), coupled with non-nickel future batteries may be the way to go.