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Stakeholders discuss standards for solar water heating systems

solarStakeholders met recently in a workshop to set up the standards and schemes for the solar water heating (SWH) endorsement initiative.

The workshop, organised by the Seychelles Energy Commission (Sec) in collaboration with the GOS-UNDP-GEF Resources Efficiency Project (Pre Project), took place at the Care House in Victoria.

Present at the opening ceremony were the chief executive (CEO) of Sec Tony Imaduwa, representatives of various regulatory bodies, including the Fair Trading Commission (FTC), Seychelles Bureau of Standards (SBS), Customs and educational institutions such as Seychelles Institute of Technology (SIT) and private sectors.

The purpose of the workshop was to establish a regulatory framework for SWH systems and services in the country, which falls under the primary objective of the component of the project that focuses on the improved policy, institutional, legal, regulatory and financial framework for resource efficient technologies.

Speaking on the occasion, principal officer for renewable energy management (Reem) of Sec, Cynthia Alexander, stated that such workshop will provide a much better understanding of SWH that is easily accessible in Seychelles.

“SWH systems have a widespread usage and application in domestic, industrial and services sectors like tourism. They also have a lot of economic benefits in the long run including a reasonable payback period depending on the type and size of the system and our needs. Improving the market will create more opportunities in local business and employment,” she said.

She added that people need to be more aware of the SWH/PV systems, for them to better benefit from such services.

“Irrespective of the lack of understanding among the general public regarding the solar being PV alone, the SWH industry is experiencing slow but steady improvements over the past 15 years. In order to establish a regulatory framework for SWH systems, it is essential to identify the target market that will provide large saving potentials related to other advance water heating technologies,” she pointed out.

Furthermore she stated that to further increase SWH intake they will have to address the lack of information on the systems options, how to install them, upfront financing cost and difficulty in obtaining loans.

Harry Savy, from the Sun Heat Supplies, was among the private sectors that attended the workshop.

“I came to this workshop because I have been in the solar system business for the past 12 years, which is a system from Australia ‘Solahart’. We supply a lot of equipment to Seychelles, domestic and commercial. The products are quite expensive but now that the government has abolished taxes on the products, this benefits us and other businesses,” he said.

Andy Ally from the SBS stated that SBS’ main goal is to regulate the SWH product in Seychelles.

“The main objective of this workshop is to standardise the SWH products. We at the SBS develop or adopt the national standard. We came to elaborate more and explain what contribution SBS can bring to the project. Furthermore SBS will adopt some new standards and make them national standards. Installers and the Sec will afterwards use those standards to better control SWH in Seychelles,” he said.

The SWH is a performance and quality assurance scheme for the SWH products in Seychelles. The initiative provides the rules, compliance framework and information to policy makers, industry (products), market actors and end-consumers.

The implementation of this endorsement scheme is the responsibility of the Sec but it presupposes that there is a commitment with other public or private entities to provide their assistance and contribution for the achievement of the outcomes of the initiative.

 Source : Seychelles NATION

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