There are 5 Good reasons to use solar energy in South Africa:
- Power Shortage:
- South Africa cannot meet the energy demand in the country only with existing power generation capacity.
- South Africa must safe 10% on its electricity bill.
- Former finance Minister Trevor Manuel announced various steps and measures in his February 2008 budget speech which includes:
¨ Levy on electricity generated from non-renewable sources, such as generators.
¨ Promised to consider tax incentives for clean energy.
¨ Tax relief for generation of electricity from amongst others sunlight.
- Eskom has announced delays in quoting and perhaps supplying only part or none of the electricity requirements for new developments and requirements for permits.
2. Rising Energy Cost:
- Electricity costs are very low in SA, but Eskom forces a 25% price increase per annum over the next four years.
- Diesel price increased more than 200% in the last 4 years and will continue to do so for the unforeseeable future. (Source: Stats AS 2007)
3. Independence from providers:
- Solar energy ensures continued power supply on key appliances at home or in the office, thereby mitigating damage during power surges and outages.
- It reduces the household reliance on Main Grid Energy supply.
- It ensures hot water during load shedding.
4. Free Energy:
- Solar Energy is free – monthly costs saving on electricity bill.
- South Africa is one of the regions with the highest solar irradiation in the world.
- Countries like Germany with a very low irradiation already have installed over 4000MW of photovoltaic systems (SA: est .< 1MW, Source: CSIR, ESKOM, DME 2004)
5. Environmental Footprint:
- In South Africa, the most abundant source of energy is coal, which is highly responsible for CO2 pollution.
- A 150 litre solar water heater can replace on average 4.5 kWh of electricity per day, resulting in the following environmental annual savings*:
¨ 3.0 tonnes of CO2
¨ 12.2 kg of NOx (Source: ESKOM)