Impact of Solar Thermal Energy on the Energy Matrix under Equatorial Andean Context

Edgar A. Barragán-Escandón, Esteban Zalamea-León, John Calle-Sigüencia, Julio Terrados-Cepeda

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Low-temperature solar thermal energy is a viable and mature alternative to reduce the use of fossil fuels for domestic hot water heating. The impact of the inclusion of this technology in the energy matrix in the Andean city of Cuenca, Ecuador, is analyzed. In Ecuador, liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) is currently used to heat water due to the high state subsidy, with a cost of 0, 11 USD for an LPG kg compared to the international price of 1.18 USD a Kg of LPG in 2021. Sustainability indicators show that the urban energy matrix would be minimally affected by a high penetration of solar thermal systems. The indicators that are positively affected are related to energy self-sufficiency, emissions, and employment at the expense of an increase in the cost of energy. Moreover, the analysis of the impact on consumption exclusively in the residential sector shows that liquefied petroleum gas consumption would drop from 73 to 64%, mainly because the liquefied gas is used in cooking. However, the change in technology is limited by the subsidized cost of liquefied petroleum gas, which makes the adoption of this technology difficult in the current state.

Original languageEnglish
Article number5803
Issue number16
StatePublished - Aug 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was funded by the Vicerectorate of Research of the University of Cuenca and University Polithecnic Salesian.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 by the authors.


  • energy matrix
  • LEAP
  • sanitary hot water
  • solar thermal


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