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Power Interruptions in the Philippines Gained Filipinos’ Interest in Solar-Powered Products

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Electricity is a necessity in the Philippines, and many are reliant on devices for work and for our personal life. Reports by We Are Social in 2021 revealed that Filipinos spend close to 11 hours on the internet each day, the highest record in the world.

Yet, power outages in the Philippines are a common experience among many as well. This caused a unique demand where e-commerce platforms saw an increased interest in items such as solar panels, and solar-powered products to combat the issue of frequent blackouts.

Taking a step deeper to understand the needs of online consumers, iPrice’s insights team conducted a study analyzing the demand for products such as solar panels, solar-powered lights, and solar power banks in the Philippines in the past 5 years.

MIMAROPA is the Number One Region with the Most Searches for Solar Panels

Analyzing the search demand for solar panels, the MIMAROPA region topped the list, followed by Bicol Region and the Cagayan Valley region. It is no coincidence that MIMAROPA Region topped the list as blackouts were very common in the area. Mindoro, a province of the MIMAROPA region was once dubbed as the “brownout” capital of the Philippines. This was due to its insufficient power supply, resulting in frequent power outages. There was even an outage in the province that lasted most of two entire days.

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We hypothesize that consumers in the region are looking for solar panels either for their businesses or homes in preparation for upcoming blackouts. This is similar in the Bicol and Cagayan Valley Regions. Experiencing power outages for a long period of time can be a normal occurrence. Especially when strong typhoons hit these areas. The Cagayan Valley is flood-prone during the rainy seasons. It is known as a catch basin of surrounding water tributaries such as the Magat dam.

The list also reflects regions where demand for solar-powered products was low potentially due to lower power supply issues. For example, the search interest for solar panels were low in the Ilocos Region. One potential reason is that the Bangui Windmill farms are in the Ilocos Region which supplies 40% of power to the region.

Filipinos Started to Gain Interest in Solar Panels, Solar Lights, and Solar Power Banks

Looking deeper into consumers’ demands for solar products, we found a significant increase in searches for solar panels. Search interest grew more than two (2) times when comparing the first half of 2022 with the last six months of 2021. A market report by Modor Intelligence reported that solar panels became more cost-effective in 2021 due to an oversupply of equipment. Paired with the shortage supply of electricity in the Philippines that caused a lot of power outages, we believe this potentially influenced high interest in solar panels.

Similarly, searches for solar lights saw an exponential increase, as much as 60 times higher when compared to the previous period.

Demand for Solar Powered Products Is Expected to Continue in the Following Years

Regions like MIMAROPA, Cagayan Valley, And Bicol region are just some of the affected areas with continuous power interruptions and it’s affecting the way residents live.

Thin power supplies, continuous power outages, and price hike in electricity is one of the main concerns that need to be addressed for a long time in the Philippines. While the government is making efforts to reduce blackouts in the country, it is expected that solar products will continue to be in demand until power outages become a rarer occurrence in the country.

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