Several years ago when talking to senior management of ZESA (the national power company of Zimbabwe) the subject of solar water heaters was discussed. One ‘what if scenarios’ was, could solar water heaters benefit the limited power supply if the hydro from Kariba MW output fell? Not surprisingly the answer was ‘Yes’ but at what cost, and with Zimbabwe’s economy in a very fragile state, little if any monies could be found to incentivize consumers to go solar. Nothing happened.
It should be simple in the highly competitive growing market of solar rooftop PV to get a handle on the costs but the reality is that despite budgeting costs being straightforward, due to regulatory confusion, restrictions on feed in tariffs (FIT’s), and amounts (kW) that can be fed in, as well as other factors, determining the return on investment (ROI), and potential payback (time to recover the investment), is complex.