Powering through crisis: The vital role of solar energy in times of need.

Powering through crisis: The vital role of solar energy in times of need.

It has been roughly 15 years since load-shedding was officially implemented in South Africa, and more than 350 000 jobs have been lost. The crippling effects of power cuts continue to affect ordinary South Africans and businesses causing an estimated loss of up to R900 million a day. The rolling blackouts continue to leave homes in the dark, halt production, and harm companies of all kinds. The South African Reserve Bank report predicts a 0.3% economic growth due to power outages this year. In this article, we will explore how solar energy may be the answer to the prevailing crises.

An opportunity for change

Our country is the ideal place for producing solar energy, as we receive 4.5 to 6.5 kWh/m2 of solar energy on average every day. It is estimated that around 2,500 hours of sunshine are averaged annually throughout the nation. Due to its reliability and increasingly accessible affordability, the solar energy industry is experiencing exceptionally high growth. According to BusinessTech, South Africa has managed to procure R2.2 billion in solar in the first five months of 2022 alone, further creating more opportunities and lessening the nation's reliance on coal-based energy sources.

As a result of a market boom in the industry, new products, and financing options have become available to fund alternatives for individuals and small companies. Affordable entry-level options for protecting businesses and homeowners from rolling blackouts are becoming more accessible as the industry continues to grow. 

Although moving off the grid may initially be costly, the good news is that South Africans can gradually switch to solar energy instead of going all in.

“There are a variety of solutions available to consumers depending on their specific needs. Solar companies are now able to provide you with the best solar solution, as well as provide you with the best possible financing solution too. It’s the best option if you want to avoid load shedding and return to a normal life. Just make sure that you are working with reputable companies who can offer you the right advice”  says Frans Van Zyl, Managing Director at Solar Hub

Advantages of solar power to homeowners and business owners

  • Energy security- Renewable energy plays a crucial role in supporting energy security by contributing to the protection and continued provision of energy services when load-shedding occurs. In particular, solar energy can provide a reliable source of electricity and reduce the country's reliance on coal-based energy sources, improving the overall economy. For home and business  owners, this ensures that their lives can continue back to normal and businesses can continue to operate. 
  • Economic and tax benefits: As of February 2022, the South African government has released R13 billion worth of tax incentives to encourage solar energy investment. By investing in solar energy, the country can also reduce its dependence on expensive imported fuels and promote local energy production.
  • Environmental Benefits: According to an article by Power, South Africa has the highest carbon footprint in all of Africa, with about 40% CO2 emissions.  Solar energy is a clean and renewable energy source that does not emit greenhouse gases or other harmful pollutants, making it an essential tool for reducing South Africa's carbon footprint and mitigating the effects of climate change.

Final thoughts

Solar energy has the potential to transform South Africa's energy landscape by providing a sustainable, reliable, and cost-effective source of electricity that can improve energy security, reduce emissions, and drive economic growth.

Be part of the change and switch to more sustainable energy production. 

Need advice? Speak to us.