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Jacques Moulot and Sako Mohame

Executive Summary

Under the AFREPREN/FWD UNESCO’s collaborating program aimed to promote capacity building in manufacturing and maintenance of solar technologies in Africa, we undertook this feasibility study of commercial manufacturing in Côte d’Ivoire of Solar Water Heaters (SWH).

Côte d’Ivoire is a well irrigated tropical country where electricity is mainly produced from both hydraulic and thermal source. In 1997, raw production of electricity was 2151 GWh from thermal sources, and 1879 GWh from hydraulic source.

Photovoltaic (PV) production of electricity is very limited with an approximate total installed power of 97 kWp. PV is used mainly for telecommunication applications. The technology although feasible in the country, is very poorly  disseminated.

In Côte d’Ivoire, water is heated using mainly 3 energy sources. 1) Biomass (wood and charcoal), 2) electricity, and 3) gas (butane). Very few Solar Water Heaters (SWH) are used. In 1995, customs statistics showed that money spent on imported electric water heaters (EWH) is 18 times more than money spent on imported solar water heater. No reliable statistics on installed SWH exist. Based on the ministry of planning and development data, import of SWH nearly doubled every year between 1993 and 1995

This study endeavors to propose an innovated design of Thermosyphon Solar Water Heaters using available local materials, and manufactured locally in order to reduce cost, strengthen local technical capacity, accelerate dissemination and insure appropriation of SWH technology as well as stimulate acceptance of other solar technologies in Côte d’Ivoire.

Our analysis shows that a locally manufactured low cost SWH company can target at 25% to 30% of the housing market, which represents approximately 1500 to 1800 houses a year not including hotels and hospitals.

Cash flow analysis reveals that an initial capital investment of $107,000 is needed, but profit can be made within the first year of operation.

Legal and institutional requirements are relatively easy to fulfill, because of an advantageous policy towards development of small businesses in the country. The procedures and fees for establishing a small enterprise have been recently greatly simplified.

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