In South Africa, the Department of Energy (DoE) has explained that the hold up in the second rollout of solar water heating systems is partly due to unresolved issues that occurred in the initial pilot.

In response to a Parliamentary question, Engineering News reported that energy Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi attributed the delay in the installation process to the need to finalise the necessary controls and systems to mitigate the  problems experienced in the previous rollout model.

There are currently 59,396 heating units, which have been in storage since April this year, according to the DoE.

Solar water heating installation delays

Engineering News reported that under the DoE’s Solar Water Heating Programme, no systems have been installed during the 2015/16 and 2016/17 financial years.

Media further highlighted that along with a global positioning system verification and tracking system, these included local buy-in from municipalities through the signing of the municipal framework agreement and the identification of the designated installation areas (DIAs) within the municipality, as well as the identification and accredited training of installers in each DIA.

Further mitigation comprised the social facilitation to ensure that the beneficiary community has been exposed to the operational requirements of solar water heater systems, and to align community expectations through the social facilitation platform, Engineering News reported.

Procurement

In 2014, Government made the decision to stop the subsidisation of imported SWH systems in favour of local manufacturing to increase job creation, industrialisation and the socio-economic impact of the programme.

Working with other government departments such as the Departments of Trade and Industry, National Treasury, Higher Education and Training, Public Enterprises and Economic Development, and Eskom, the Industrial Development Corporation and the South African Bureau of Standards (SABS), the DoE said at the time that the revised contracting model is the only basis for accessing government subsidies under the SWH rebate programme. Read more…

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