The SADC region faces a huge power deficit due to lack of adequate investment in the energy sector. Over 80% of electricity in the region is generated from coal, therefore a disruption to power supplies is a major threat to economic growth.
A considerable share (40 – 50%) of electricity used in the residential sector is for hot water preparation. Solar water heaters can reduce the electricity demand and thus lower the environmental effects (CO2 emissions) caused by fossil fuel. The largest consumer of energy in South Africa is the industrial sector, accounting for 37.3% of the energy consumption.