There’s a big need for low cost, effective solar hot water designs. This is not just a matter of saving money (and, of course, all the other benefits of saving energy, like saving the planet). Many people worldwide do not have hot water on tap and would benefit from easier washing clothes and dishes.
We have some work detailed about solar hot water on Appropedia, built-in Parras, Mexico. These are largely sunny places – even a black pipe lying in the sun will create hot water. But what are the hottest water and the most straightforward, reliable product that someone can get for the money they spend?
One challenge that faces such countries is that they often have fossil fuel subsidies, especially those countries that are traditional oil-producers. Solar loses much of its economic advantage when fuel gets a subsidy.
Changing someone’s thinking to save a tiny amount of money is hard. But with other angles to complement the economic incentives, there is hope. Get kids involved, explain why solar hot water is better, get the ideas taught in the schools. Emphasize the green side of things, children’s benefits, and make the designs freely available in people’s own language.