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China still the largest market for solar panel air conditioners, says Midea

Uptake in Middle East and Southeast Asia slow owing to higher initial cost compared to conventional systems

| | May 3, 2018 | 9:34 am
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Guangzhou, China, 3 May 2018: China is still the largest market for Midea’s solar-powered air conditioners, said Peck Zhao, Senior Specialist of Marketing, Midea. In the Middle East and Southeast Asia, he said, the market size is not very big, despite some interest, owing to two reasons. “[The first issue] is installation,” he said, “because it occupies space on the roof, that means only villas or big houses have space for it. For apartments, it is not really possible. Secondly, the solar panel and the battery are expensive. For the overall system, the initial cost is still much higher than the conventional system.”

When asked whether growing interest towards renewable energy sources in the GCC region will help advance the penetration of such products, Zhao stressed that the government’s efforts to push is one thing, but acceptance among stakeholders is another issue. Additionally, he said, most of the efforts are directed towards independent solar systems for power generation, not necessarily integration with air conditioning systems. Nevertheless, Zhao said, he hopes trends in renewables would go in favour of this, emphasising that he believes Midea is the first company that can claim mass production of this kind of air conditioner. In China, Zhao added, while it is being sold, compared to the total market size it is still very small. “The Chinese market is about 50 million units,” he said, “The solar air conditioner is less than 100,000 [units]. That is less than one per cent.”

Hannah Jo Uy is Features Writer at Climate Control Middle East magazine. She may be contacted at hannah@cpi-industry.com

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