Mexico: Vacuum tubes in 48 % of residential Solar Water Heaters

 marketing campaign for solar hot water systems” The marketing campaign for solar hot water systems in the residential sector in Mexico, Procalsol (2007 to 2012), bore fruit: According to the annual market statistics of the National Association of Solar Energy (ANES), the newly installed collector area in households almost tripled from 53,183 m2 in 2008 to 132,934 m2 last year.

The campaign largely owes its success to the broad alliance of organizations supporting the marketing activities (see logos above). “Our deployment strategy includes a homepage, a flyer for end consumers, new quality standards and training of solar installers,” Wiebke Mai, who is Consultant for the Sustainable Energy Programme at the German Agency for Technical Cooperation (GTZ) in Mexico, explains.

What also played a significant role in the tripling of numbers was the Green Mortgage programme (Hipoteca Verde) organized by the Infonavit bank. This way, 37,000 households profited from low-interest loans in 2009. Considering an average collector area per system of 2 m2, this adds up to 74,000 m2 - more than half of the market volume in the residential sector.

 

  Newly installed collector area [m2] in 2008 Newly installed collector area [m2] in 2009 Growth rate
Swimming Pools 76,486 74,865 -2%
Households 53,183 132,934 150%
Hotels 15,901 13,827 -13%
Industry 16,638 10,846 -35%
Others 3,432 864 -75%
  165,640 233,336 41%


Results of the annual market statistics of 2008 and 2009 by Mexico's National Association of Solar Energy (ANES). You will find further market data for 2009 in the attached presentation.


During the same year, however, the market size of the hotel and industrial sector decreased significantly: Whereas the ANES statistics registered 16,638 m2 of collector area in the industry sector in 2008, only 10,846 m2 were installed last year – a decrease of 35 %. Due to the financial crisis, the hotel sector experienced its own decline by 13 %. “We will strengthen our activities in the industrial and agricultural sector as well,” Mai from the GTZ announces. The organization is one of the long-term supporters of Procalsol, which is still running until the end of 2012.

What comes as a surprise is the high share of vacuum tube collectors in the residential sector in Mexico: According to the ANES statistics, this technology makes up 48 % of the total collector volume installed in private households in 2009. Why is that surprising? First, because the solar thermal industry in Mexico traditionally manufactures flat plate collectors. Second, because Mexico's market figures for 2008 as reported in the Solar Heat Worldwide study by Austrian institute AEE Intec did not include any significant market share of vacuum tube collectors at all. It seems that who benefited from the strong growth in the residential sector last year were the importers of this technology.

Salvador Steffani, President of the newly founded association FAMERAC (Fabricantes Mexicanos de Energía Renovable, A.C.), confirmed the trend towards vacuum tubes: He said that the number of vacuum tube collector importers has increased dramatically in recent years to around 80, whereas there are no more than 50 national flat plate collector suppliers and manufacturers in the country (see also http://www.solarthermalworld.org/node/1199).

More information:
www.anes.org
www.aee-intec.at
Contact for FAMERAC: captasol@att.net.mx

 

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