South Africa: Support Project for Commercial Solar Water Heating
 South Africa: Support Project for Commercial Solar Water Heating

South Africa: Support Project for Commercial Solar Water Heating

The Renewable Energy Market Transformation Project (REMT), established in November 2008, was developed to help South Africa address some of the barriers within the renewable energy sector. It is funded through the world bank by the Global Environmental Facility (GEF) and endeavours to fulfil the 2013 renewable energy target of 10,000 GWh, set out by the South African government. The project itself has two major sub-projects, called Commercial Solar Water Heating (CSWH) and Renewable Energy Power Generation (REPG). More details about the REMT programme in the database of incentive programmes.

The South African government committed itself to the target of the White Paper on Renewable Energy, which requires a “10,000 GWh renewable energy contribution to final energy consumption by 2013, to be produced mainly from biomass, wind, solar and small-scale hydro. The renewable energy is to be utilised for power generation and non-electric technologies such as solar water heating and bio-fuels.”  Years of negotiation between the South African government and the World Bank had preceded the comprehensive REMT project.

The four-year project will cost US$17.3 million. The GEF granted a fund of US$ 6 million, the South African government of US$ 2.3 million and the private sector promised to contribute US$9 million, mainly to sub-project CSWH. The Department of Minerals and Energy initiated the project, the Development Bank of South Africa will implement it.

CSWH systems possess a hot water capacity from 5,000 to 50,000 litres, whereas the capacity of residential systems is only 200 to 300 litres. Some of the main end-users of CSWH systems are hotels, hostels, hospitals, farms and flat blocks. There is no final word on how the sub-project CSWH project will support them.

Furthermore, the sub-project may help the government develop a policy, a regulatory framework and standards and codes to achieve best practice on an international level. It could also assist in building institutional capacities for the sector of commercial solar thermal applications, establishing campaigns to create the needed awareness and offering training programmes to provide the industry with the skilled workers it will require.

More Information:
REMT: Yaw Afrane-Okese (Project Coordinator) or
Moses Chundu (Business Development Specialist)
Tel: 0027 / (0) 11 256 3543

This text was written by communication specialist Hanna Schober based in South Africa.


Baerbel Epp

Bärbel Epp is Founder and Director of the German communication and market research agency solrico and editor-in-chief of