Solar water heating potential in South Africa in dynamic energy market conditions

Georgi Donev, Wilfried G.J.H.M. Van Sark, Kornelis Blok, Ognjan Dintchev

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)


This paper is an attempt to determine the potential for solar water heating (SWH) in South Africa and the prospects for its implementation between 2010 and 2030. It outlines the energy market conditions, the energy requirements related to residential and commercial water heating in the country and the solar water heating market dynamics and challenges. It was estimated that 98% of the potential is in the residential sector and the rest in the commercial sector. The total thermal demand for 20 years for water heating was estimated to 2.2 EJ. A 'Moderate SWH implementation' will provide 0.83 EJ of clean energy until 2030 and estimated cost savings of 231 billion rand. For an 'Accelerated SWH implementation' these figures are 1.3 EJ and 369 billion rand. The estimated accumulated reduction of CO 2 emissions due to SWH can be as high as 297 Mt. The increased affordability of residential hot water due to SWH is an important social factor and solar water heating has a strong social effect.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3002-3013
Number of pages12
JournalRenewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Potential
  • Scenario
  • Solar thermal
  • Solar water heating


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