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Devon Gardner, Development and Implementation of a Strategy for the Promotion of Solar Water Heating in CARICOM Countries, Dec. 2011

Devon Gardner, Development and Implementation of a Strategy for the Promotion of Solar Water Heating in CARICOM Countries, Dec. 2011

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01/14/2014

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D
EVELOPMENT AND
I
MPLEMENTATION OF  A
S
TRATEGY FOR THE
P
ROMOTION OF
S
OLAR
W
 ATER 
H
EATING
I
N
CARICOM
 
C
OUNTRIES
 
December 2011
Submitted to the
Caribbean Community Secretariat 
Delivery under
The Caribbean Renewable Energy Capacity Support (CRECS) Project 
Funded by The European Union  Author:
Dr. Devon Gardner 
 
 
REPORT
ON
 D
EVELOPMENT AND
I
MPLEMENTATION OF
 
 A
S
TRATEGY FOR THE
P
ROMOTION OF
S
OLAR
W
 ATER
H
EATING
 I
N
CARICOM
 
C
OUNTRIES
 December 2011
Submitted to the
Caribbean Community Secretariat 
Delivery under
The Caribbean Renewable Energy Capacity Support (CRECS) Project 
Funded by The European Union Author:
Dr. Devon Gardner 
CRECS Project Manager
Dr.
 
R. Alston Stoddard 
 Manager, CARICOM Energy Programme:
 Joseph Williams
 
 
- 1 -
ExecutiveSummary
Despite its considerable potential within CARICOM household, domestic and industrysectors, the possible contribution of solar water heat is often neglected in many energyprojections and scenarios. This is best explained by the frequent failure to distinguish heat and (electrical) work as two different forms of energy transfers. As a result, policy makersin most countries have tended to pay lesser attention to solar thermal technologies thanthey do to renewable energy technologies, which generate electricity. Solar thermaltechnologies offer a great potential for providing a low carbon response to the increasingregional energy demand, much of which is required as heat. After decades of development,solar water heaters in particular have now reached a degree of technical maturity that makes them reliable and solar water heating is cost-effective compared to conventionalmethods. Other related technologies, including active solar cooling are also economicviable, but are somewhat more dependent on various local conditions, alternate energyresource availability to the annual cooling and hot water demand.The fact is that the cost of electricity within the majority of CARICOM states averagesaround 38 US cents per KWh and is among the highest in the world; this is a major drag onthe competitiveness of the respective economies. Consumers largely blame this state of affairs on the electric utilities; the energy sectors within the region have been slow to
adopt 
 and
exploit 
new technological opportunities within the renewable energy sector, includingthe prospects available through solar water heating. Typically, the focus is on large-scalerenewable energy projects on the grid as part of a fuel diversification strategy.Numerous barriers impede expansion of the regional solar water heating market. Thoughmost technical barriers have now been fixed, some technical limitations persist;unfortunately, past failures have left some distrust in the pub
lic and policy makers’ opinion
within some territories. Other barriers such as: high investment costs; failure to link SWHto national energy security and the environmental benefits thereof; insufficient training of 
professional installers; “split incentives”; and other institutional barriers, legislation
barriers such as a lack of incentives or regulations that promote the industry and lack of awareness of the potential by customers as well as policy makers, continue to inhibit itsgrowth.The uneven level of solar thermal markets within CARICOM countries, which have similarclimate and energy conditions, highlights the importance of public policies to overcome thebarriers to their use. The average penetration of solar water heating within the region isaround 7.6 per cent. This is around 220,000 m
2
of installed collector area or 170 MWth of capacity. Placed into perspective, this represents per capita installed capacity of 

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