As part of the South African National Solar Water Heater Strategy and Implementation Plan of 2009, over 215,000 solar energy water heaters have been installed nationally to date. To offset rising electricity costs, reduce demands on the electricity infrastructure and achieve an accelerated turnout of solar energy power for homes of the low-income bracket. The plan as a whole not only encourages energy conservation by using solar energy but it also solves a very practical need for low-cost energy solutions for underprivileged or impoverished communities in South Africa. When the infrastructure we have is under strain and we’re still expanding and developing urban sprawls, it’s the villages and rural areas that undoubtedly have to foot the bill.
It doesn’t even take that much consideration to help out; install LED lighting, only boil as much water as you’ll need, turn lights off in rooms you’re not occupying and of course install solar thermal energy solutions for your water heating. Heating and cooling are two major areas of energy consumption so any shortcuts or alternatives are not only necessary, they’re responsible. This is something that the South African government has realised and a goal has been set. Integrating Eskom’s facilitation of the projected one-million solar water heating systems before 2014 with the energy consciousness of the government is great news for everyone, including those that don’t seem to care.
These solutions also fight against greenhouse emissions and help with job creation; this double-edged bonus will be felt resonating long after the 2 year schedule concludes. Solar energy for electricity via solar energy panels and primary geysers means that there are at least 214,000 homes that are able to heat their water from now on, for free. Solar energy doesn’t stop at water heating, but it’s amazing to see the government get behind it from the start.