The market of solar water heaters in southern Africa has had a phenomenal growth during the past four years the expansion of less than 20 providers in 1997 to more than 400 in early 2011, is Frost & Sullivan, the global market intelligence and growth consulting firm.
In line with global, national trends in the market of South Africa water heating that is moving away from the traditional methods of heating water, such as geysers conventional more measures of energy efficiency, water heaters solar in particular. Such development may be due to the fact that the internal heating of the water of approximately 40% of the electricity for domestic accounts Bill. 18% Of the national electricity consumption of South Africa is intended for heating of water for residential, commercial and industrial use.
"Deslastrado of energy crisis 2007-2008 Eskom gave rise to a greater awareness of solar water heating as the public in general demanded hot water during the hours of shut-off functions, and Eskom defended the benefits of saving this mechanism could offer", said Dominic Gonçalves, Frost & Sullivan and the energy research analyst energy.
Eskom subsequently developed a program of demand-side management, the expansion of the solar water heaters of water as the primary mechanism for conserving the tense national mains power. The Eskom rebate program was established, and a target set for the installation of one million solar water heaters of water by 2014. "The reason is that demand management can alleviate up to 578 gigawatt hours of electricity on the network, equivalent to the construction of a station of 2000 megawatts," explains Gonçalves. "In addition, solar water heaters are often used during peak hours (morning and afternoon), the exact moment in which voltage power stations are struggling to produce the maximum time required power," he said.
However, between 2007 and 2010, the market grew volatile, full of bad functioning of products, the companies fly-by-night, and improper installation and application of the product. However, the growth of the market continued, although more slowly than expected, since many vendors experienced a silence after this initial boom. "This was caused by the bad reputation that the solar water heaters were receiving due to the conflicting information and erroneous application of the product, as well as the initial challenges in the development of the program of discounts," Goncalves comments.
The pressure of the demand that will be placed on the market to manufacture and install these products is exciting. Frost & Sullivan research has shown that the manufacture of solar water heaters in southern Africa can be carried out to internationally competitive levels for types of flat plates of products.
Current and potential manufacturers are preparing for this demand driven by legislation and are ready to compete with foreign imports, which are classified either by low price, many (and often inappropriate technology) products, on the one hand, or reputable solar water global manufacturer of heaters developed with global distribution networks and more expensive products on the other.
"The key challenge facing the development of the market of solar water heaters is the installation." "Solar water heaters require a mixture of skills of plumbing and electrical, as well as the unique abilities of installation of solar energy, which must be learned", said Goncalves. Solar water heater installation is approximately four times more manpower than the installation of a conventional geyser. In addition to this, the variables many skills of installation of the products in different applications needed to be purchased, some of which can only be learned in practice: different ceilings, ceiling restructuring-, buildings, pipelines, irradiation latitudinal tilt, and other variables.
The plumbing industry is operating at full capacity, a pool of 3,000 qualified Plumbers should be strengthened by an additional 8,000 for the market to deal with a massive demand for solar heaters of water over the next 4-6 years. The transformation of the abilities of conventional plumbing plumbing energy efficiency also requires a different set of skills to install heat pumps. These skills are similar to those required for the air conditioning and refrigeration.
"To facilitate the transformation of the market, the coordination and communication of the planning and implementation among the key players of the industry and the Government will require", says Goncalves. It adds that the appropriate skills development is the key to success either the initiative is doomed to failure.
The manufacture of some types of products is an opportunity for new entrants, which may benefit from the incentive plans of manufacturing recently proposed by the Government in its new phase of growth (NGP). This initiative is framed within the areas of key focus for development by the Government, namely, the creation of employment, manufacturing, development of skills and the green economy.
For the market as a whole, Frost & Sullivan believes that the development of the skills of installation (both qualitative and quantitative) remains the biggest challenge. Order to energy-efficient building codes policy is a mechanism of support for the market that has been successful in many overseas markets, including the cities of Barcelona and Madrid, as well as Austria, Israel, and Cyprus.
Ultimately, the market of solar water heaters is prepared for a second phase of high growth which will be larger than the previous wave of growth in southern Africa. The key is to address the shortcomings of the market and be willing to support change.
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