Solar pumps for the future

Solar pumps

The use of solar borehole pumps is common all over South Africa and solar pumps for the future is a given. Famers have been using solar pumps for many years, however there was a steep increase in the use of solar pumps over recent years. The most important reasons for this are:

  • The global expansion of the solar industry and increase in production of solar panels over the last decade resulted in drastically reduced prices. Retail prices of solar panels are currently less than R 10 per watt, compared to over R 30 per watt in 2010. Thus, solar pumps are more affordable than a few years ago.
  • The availability and variety of solar pumps have expanded. In the past the supply of solar pumps was limited to a few brands, but today farmers have a wide variety of suppliers and different types of solar pumps to choose from.
  • A large percentage of South Africa’s wind pumps have come to the end of their lifetime, and maintenance have become expensive. Many farmers replace wind pumps with solar pumps since they are cheaper, less labour intensive and have lower maintenance costs. Furthermore, most parts of South Africa have more constant sun than wind, leading in increasing use of solar pumps.
  • Increasing fuel costs and electricity tariffs, combined with increasing environmental consciousness among farmers, result in increasing use of renewable energy products such as solar pumps.

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