6.4. Solar Water Heating

In a region where only a small part of the population has access to running water, the need for hot water is still comparatively limited. However, it is estimated that approximately 40% of residential electricity consumption in South Africa can be attributed to water heating. Solar water heaters represent a low-cost alternative. In comparison to the electric geyser, the most commonly used technology for heating water in South Africa, the payback period for solar water heaters is estimated at 4 – 5 years, and up to 7 years for evacuated tubes. A "1 million solar hot water heaters by 2014" demand-side management (DSM) programme commenced in 2010 (Edkins et al., 2010).

Industrial applications for solar heating are just emerging. There are a few hundred demonstration projects around the world, virtually all in low-temperature heat demand applications such as dairies, other food processing industries, and laundries. Expansion of CSP will result in cost reductions for higher temperature and larger-scale solar heating applications, such as for the chemical industry (Taibi et al., 2011).