Solar Water Pump Industry Bulletin: Issue 1

This first industry bulletin provides an overview of progress made on the priorities that were identified at the Solar Water Pumping Market Development Roundtable held in Nairobi earlier this year.


Solar Water Pump Industry Bulletin

Welcome to the first, quarterly Efficiency for Access Solar Water Pump Industry Bulletin! The purpose of these bulletins is to share information about specific activities undertaken through the Efficiency for Access Coalition that are relevant to solar water pump industry stakeholders. This first bulletin provides an overview of progress made on the priorities that were identified at the Solar Water Pumping Market Development Roundtable held in Nairobi earlier this year.

Over the last six months, the Coalition has made significant progress on the following high-priority actions that were identified by Roundtable participants:

  • Sizing the total addressable market and segment by geography, customer type, and willingness/ability to pay
  • Building a typology of the most common pump use cases
  • Developing industry-wide test standards and protocols
  • Building test lab capacity
  • Facilitating partnerships and collaborations around product installation and service

A detailed overview of these activities is included below. We intend to send these updates on a quarterly basis and we invite any feedback on the content and format. We will also be sending out a quarterly Refrigeration Industry Bulletin, which you can subscribe to by emailing info@efficiencyforaccess.org.

Size and Segment the Total Addressable Market

Research that characterizes and quantifies the market opportunity (and the associated barriers) for solar water pumps is essential to catalyzing public sector support and private sector investment.Such work is needed both at the global level and in key national markets. The Coalition is working to grow this body of knowledge through the following projects:

  • Country-Specific Market Assessments: Lighting Global is undertaking detailed market assessments on the productive use of solar in Kenya, Zimbabwe, and Cote d’Ivoire. These assessments include solar water pumps, and the results will be published later this year.
  • Customer Intelligence: The Low Energy Inclusive Appliances (LEIA) Program is collaborating with Simusolar in Tanzania to survey smallhold farmers and other sector stakeholders to surface information that will help solar water pump companies find new customers, design products that meet customers’ needs, and track associated impacts. The results of this research project will be published in November.
  • Market Sizing: The LEIA program is supporting the expansion of GOGLA’s off-grid solar lighting sales data collection and reporting platform to include water pumps and other appliances.
  • Global Market Research: LEIA is finalizing the scope of a macro-level market study on a core suite of near-to-market appliance categories. This study will include solar water pumps, and will examine market size, business and financing models, policy environments, and end of life practices. We expect to release an RFP for this study at the end of October and publish the study in September 2019.

Please contact Makena Ireri at mireri@clasp.ngo for more information these projects or ways to participate in this research.

Develop Industry-Wide Standards and Test Protocols and Develop Test Lab Capacity

Robust laboratory testing ensures product performance lives up to the energy efficiency and quality claims of manufacturers and is a best practice, especially in nascent markets. However, one of the key challenges identified by industry stakeholders at the roundtable is the lack of technical foundations to support testing and quality evaluation for solar water pumps.

  • Test Method Development: Global LEAP is developing a solar water pump test method, leveraging existing international and national test methods, including IEC 62253 and MED 20 (11177) Draft Indian Standard on Solar Powered Pump set. The Global LEAP test method will define test conditions, performance metrics, and durability, quality, and safety evaluation. A discussion guide for the test method is currently under review by the Solar Water Pump Technology Working Group.
  • Laboratory Testing – Request for Proposals: The Efficiency for Access Coalition has a Request for Proposal open to identify a laboratory to test solar water pumps based on the proposed performance metrics in the draft Global LEAP test method. We strongly encourage test laboratories and facilities with experience testing solar water pumps to submit a proposal.
  • Surveying Retail Markets: The LEIA team is currently surveying markets in India, Tanzania, Sierra Leone, Kenya, and Uganda to collect technical specifications of solar water pumps available in retail markets. The survey data will inform sample selection for solar water pump baseline performance testing, build market intelligence, and feed into future research and programmatic activities.

Please contact Mike Spiak at mspiak@clasp.ngo for more information on our market surveys, technical working group, or participating in our projects.

Identify, Award, and Incentivize Top Performing Products

  • Upcoming Global LEAP Awards: The 2019 Global LEAP Awards will launch on November 8th at the Unlocking Solar Capital Conference in Kigali, Rwanda, and will feature a solar water pump category for the first time. Competition results will be announced in the summer of 2019. The Global LEAP Awards are a series of international competitions that identify the world’s best, low-cost, most energy-efficient off-grid appliances.
  • Results-Based Financing: EnDev is implementing a results-based finance (RBF) mechanism for solar water pumps in Benin. The RBF scheme aims to develop the national market for solar water pumping technologies by supporting companies, especially in the early stages of development, to market quality products and to make them more accessible. As a result, approximately 100 pumps have been sold to communities, social institutions, and small-to-medium size enterprises by the companies participating in the RBF program.

Promote Innovation and Fund R&D

  • Technical Working Group Roadmapping: The Efficiency for Access solar water pump technical working group is developing a technology roadmap to prioritize research and development needs and accelerate the development and commercialization of emerging technologies. The first draft of the roadmap will be circulated among group members in November for their feedback. If you would like to join the technical working group please contact the chair at amit.khare@icf.com.
  • Upcoming R&D Open Call: The Efficiency for Access Coalition will publish an open call for R&D concepts for off-grid technologies in early November. The solar water pump technology roadmap will inform the design of a call targeted for solar water pumps in 2019. Contact Chris Beland at chris.beland@est.org.uk for more information.

Facilitate Partnerships and Collaboration around Product Installation and Service

  • Technical Advice and Training: EnDev Ghana, together with its partners, provides business development services as well as technical advice and training to distributors and end-users of solar water pumps. The approach also includes awareness creation and promotional activities for solar irrigation as well as inspections and assessments of installed systems. The project has allowed more than 300 small-scale farmers to access solar pumping systems for irrigation and has installed more than 100 solar pumps for communities, providing drinking water for over 1,000 people.

Get Involved

  • Are you interested in participating in our next technical working group meeting, peer reviewing reports, or providing input into the design of our upcoming market research projects related to solar water pumps? Please express your interest here.
  • To receive email updates about opportunities to collaborate with the Efficiency for Access Coalition on upcoming research projects, please register as an Implementing Partner.
  • You can stay up to date on the Efficiency for Access Coalition’s work with solar water pumps as well as other technologies relevant to off- and weak-grid settings by subscribing to our newsletter. You can also follow us on Twitter via @EforA_Coalition for more frequent updates.
  • If you were forwarded this email and would like to be on the distribution list for future industry bulletins, please email info@efficiencyforaccess.org.