It took us ages to realize the earth's natural resources such as oil, natural gas, and coal are limited. However, we can harvest abundant solar energy free of cost. With an affordable initial investment, solar water heaters quickly became the most cost-effective and eco-friendly solution and alternative to traditional methods. A solar water heater draws power from the sun for daily use. It is placed in an open area where it can get sunlight during the majority part of the day. Solar water heaters are beneficial in several ways in terms of financial, environmental, and socio-economical. Solar water heaters do not emit harmful gas, contradictory to conventional methods such as the use of fossil fuels that produce a colossal amount of CO2, harming the environment. Therefore, the demand for solar water heaters has increased over the last few years.
Current market of solar water heaters:
According to Allied Market Research, the global solar water heater market would reach $6.7 billion by 2027, growing at a CAGR of 6.1% from 2020 to 2027. The rise in demand for cost-effective and eco-friendly energy solutions and advancements in energy backup systems drive the growth of the market.
Recently, Minister for Energy, Enterprise, and Sustainable Development Miriam Dalli launched three new schemes that will enable customers to opt for solar water heaters instead of conventional geysers. The schemes focus on air-to-water heat pumps and solar water heaters for a household that does not have roof access.
Among the three, Thermal Basic Scheme, the first solar water heater scheme would give a €700 grant for systems with a five-year warranty. Thermal Premium Scheme, the second scheme is aimed at stainless steel systems that exceed the 100-liter capacity and will give a €1,400 grant to cover 75% of the total investment. Moreover, an additional €500 grant would be offered to cover a 10-year warranty. These schemes aim to increased the use of solar water heaters and save around 1,800 electrical units every year per household.
Future of solar water heater:
The prime reason behind the global adoption of solar energy is its sustainability. We have already overused the earth's petroleum supplies. What's more, if we continue to consume petroleum supplies at the current rate, the sources would not last beyond the next 40 years. The rise in demand for electricity and an ever-growing global population would nothing but increase the demand for petroleum supplies. However, a solar water heater offers the easiest way to stretch these limited supplies.
If we look at the numbers, solar water heaters are the best fit for reducing pollution and reduced consumption of limited supplies. The energy demand of a family of four with an electric water heater installed in their house is almost equal to the energy used by a medium-sized automotive driven for 12,000 miles per year at the mileage of 22 miles per gallon. However, the installation of a solar water heater can significantly drop the consumption by 50-80% and offers you an investment for the life.
There is a misconception about solar water heaters that they are suitable for southern locations where sunlight generates sufficient energy. However, it is far from the truth. Solar water heaters work anywhere from a financial and technological standpoint. There are solar water heaters that track the sun's movement to harvest every bit of sunlight available. In addition, there are companies that hybrid collectors that offer electricity and hot water simultaneously. The applications of solar energy are limitless. The only limitation is our will to harvest the abundant energy available to us.