Why Solar Energy in South Africa?

There are 5 Good reasons to use solar energy in South Africa:

  1. 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)

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