Transforming and Strengthening the Global Solar Water Heating Market

What is the project about

What is the Project AboutPHOTO: UNDP India

As part of a six-country global project across Albania, Algeria, Chile, India, Lebanon and Mexico, the India project referred to as the global solar water heating (GSWH) project was started in December 2008. The GSWH project aims to accelerate the transformation of the SWH market through creating awareness on SWH technologies; providing quality assurance by helping set standards and specifications; demonstrating innovative investment methods; building the needed capacities in the supply chain; and helping establish a supportive regulatory environment.

What Have We Accomplished So Far

What Have We Accomplished So FarPHOTO: UNDP India
  • Annual penetration rate of solar water heaters was tripled
    • The total installed collector area of SWHs during the project period was 4.46 million sq. m., an increase from 2.55 million sq. m. in baseline year of the project in November 2009 to 7.01 million sq. m. as of March 2013. The annual sales tripled  from a baseline of 450,000 sq. m. in March 2009 to 1,120,000 sq. m. in March 2013 due to project interventions

  • Project activities enabled in further accelerating the SWH market in addition to the financial incentives provided by MNRE. It has been estimated that the project activities have contributed to an increase of SWH installations by 2.02 million sq. m. of collector area, i.e. 49 percent of the total installations

  • Significant energy savings and GHG reductions achieved
    • 3.57 million units of electricity saved in the project duration resulted in GHG reduction of 1.66 million tCO2

  • Innovative mechanisms to promote SWH systems demonstrated
    • An Energy Service Company (ESCO) installed 4,200 sq. m. of collector area of SWH systems at Wheels India Pvt. Ltd., a passenger car plant. The reduction in  the use of furnace oil for hot water in the degreasing process has resulted in the saving of 383 liters of furnace oil a day or close to 115,000 liters annually
    • Another auto parts company, Sona Koya Steering Systems installed 1,333 sq. m. of collector area of SWH systems in 2012. The SWH systems that supplement the use of furnace oil for pressured water heating systems has resulted in saving of 120 liters of furnace oil a day or 36,000 liters annually
    • The technical support (about 15 percent) provided by the project to the ESCO operator for each of the demonstration plants has helped in the design and system integration of the SWHs. This has further helped in reducing the monthly cost sharing for the client by almost 10 percent and incentivizing the use of SWH systems in ESCO mode for the industry
    • A Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) project has been registered for SWH systems. The earnings from the carbon credits will be used for after sales service and performance guarantee for lifetime of the system

  • Stakeholders’ capacities to market, install and service SWH systems strengthened
    • Thirty awareness programmes undertaken across the country helped in the promotion of SWHs in various sectors such as domestic, hospitality, health and industrial
    • The awareness programmes also helped in development of detailed project reports for 134 SWH systems and installations with a total capacity of 1,537,000 liters per day (30,000 sq. m.) of hot water specific to the Himalayan, industrial, urban, healthcare and educational sectors
    • Training programmes were undertaken to train the trainers (4 programmes), builders and architects (4 programmes), local consultants (4 programmes) and installers (19 programmes) 

  • Quality assurance in place for SWH systems
    • Three testing facilities are operational at test centers namely Solar Energy Center, Gurgaon; Regional Test Center, University of Pune and Regional Test Center, Hamirpur. These facilities are open to the manufacturers to test their SWH systems/ components for complying with the ‘minimum efficiency specifications’ for Evacuated Tube Collectors and BIS standards for Flat Plate Collector systems

  • Knowledge Products developed for sustaining the SWH growth
    • A dedicated website,, provides FAQs on SWHs, user’s handbook, links to the company websites of accredited manufacturers, information on existing subsidies and policies
    • Training manuals have been prepared for installers in nine different Indian languages providing installation guidelines and trouble shooting of SWH systems
    • Case studies, consultant guides and market studies of five different sectors of the Himalayan region, Delhi and NCR region, domestic, industrial and commercial have been develope

Who Finances It

Government of India, Global Environment Facility, International Copper Promotion Council of India

Delivery in Previous Fiscal Year

US$ 480,366

Stories of Change

Pay-as-you-save: Solar Energy for Industrial Heating

Pay-as-you-save: Solar Energy for Industrial Heating
As a result of UNDP’s partnership with the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy and supported by Global Environment Facility, the installation of solar water heating systems in India has increased by 20 percent each year. In addition, the partnership has also resulted in a saving of 3.57 million units of electricity, and a corresponding reduction in greenhouse gas emissions of 1.66 million tCO2.

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