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India Solar Water Heating

Using solar technology to meet the energy needs of a growing population while promoting low carbon development

Project overview

  • Region: Asia

  • Project type: Household devices, Renewable energy

  • Standards: CDM, Gold Standard

Solar water heaters (SWH) provide households, small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) and institutions with an in-house hot water supply fueled by renewable energy rather than carbon intensive grid electricity.  The project is primarily focused on serving urban areas throughout the country, and manufactures, distributes, installs and maintains solar water heaters for a variety of residential, commercial and community buildings. Distribution is primarily through private entrepreneurs or larger entities that act as solar water heater dealers and franchise sub-dealers. 

Sustainable Development Goals

In addition to delivering approximately 120,000 tonnes of emissions reductions annually to help take urgent action to combat climate change (SDG 13), the project delivers a number of other sustainable development benefits. These include:

  • Affordable and clean energy: In the absence of the project, users relied on electrical water heaters drawing electricity from the power grid which is primarily fossil fuel based. Importantly, solar water heating reduces energy costs for users. Given that an estimated 20-30% of electricity in India is used to heat water in urban households, commercial and institutional buildings, the cost saving is of notable potential. By replacing grid-dependent electric units with a 200 litre/day capacity solar water heater, it is estimated that the typical household can save on average approximately INR 9000 (approximately USD 130) per year.
  • Decent Work and Economic Growth: All the solar products are manufactured domestically in a factory in Bangalore, offering employment opportunities for local residents in manufacturing, distribution, installation and maintenance roles. Approximately 160 employees are directly employed, of which about 110 are in production, 20 are in office administration and 30 are field staff.

Read more information to find out how the project delivers other sustainable development benefits.

50% of sales are currently around Bangalore, but the project is distributing solar water heaters throughout the country.

Given that 20-30% of electricity in India is used to heat water, solar water heaters represent a significant cost saving opportunity.

The project developer conducts awareness programmes in schools and general public exhibitions to help increase uptake of its solar products.

We use the hot water to cook the cocoon so the silky thread can be extracted. By using a solar water heater, we have reduced fuelwood use by 50%

Basheer Khan, silk factory owner