In South Africa, due to the perpetual shortage of affordable housing, the residential sector can expect to see growth. This demand for housing will naturally result in greater demand for electricity as the residential sector alone consumes 30% of Eskom’s coal-powered energy. This increase in housing is expected to further double in the coming decade posing stress on the already burdened electricity grid.
This interview was originally published in African Power & Energy Elites 2021.
South Africa’s energy security is crucial to its long-term growth ambitions; however, the increase in national loadshedding continues to slow down the economy. Eskom continues to record declining energy availability factors (the amount of energy available compared to the total energy generation) and is well below the 80% target.
Frustrated homeowners often have to deal with spoilt food and damaged electrical appliances due to power surges as a result of scheduled and unscheduled loadshedding. Adding to this burden are the increasing electricity prices, which have increased almost threefold in the last decade and which are expected to rise by more than 10% in 2021.
As homeowners become more conscious about their expenses, they are seeking ways to keep costs down by shifting towards greener solutions and starting to live more sustainably. This includes taking actions to reduce food waste, recycle and conserve water, save energy and opting to invest in energy solutions that are seen as kinder to the environment, reducing their carbon footprint while increasing their resilience.
Author: Vishay Rabbipal, Head of Renewable Energy, Absa Retail and Business Banking