German solar photovoltaic (PV) mounting systems manufacturer, Renusol, has entered South Africa’s growing solar market through a supply partnership with local wholesaler Lumax Energy.
According to business development manager of Lumax Energy, Frans-Willem Vermaak, the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research predicts a significant increase in future solar PV installations, estimated at 500MW per year.
Growing solar PV demand
The predicted generation is on top of the currently installed 100MW of roof-top and agricultural solar PV power in the country.
If government provides more support for solar power generation, the additional 500MW can be achieved through strengthening the regulation, introducing tax incentives or feed-in-tariff in all provinces, Vermaak added.
Currently the Western Cape province is the only region in South Africa with a feed-in tariff scheme, Vermaak said.
According to estimations made by the South African Department of Energy in its current Integrated Resource Plan for Electricity by 2030, the country’s energy requirements could double to around 90GW, of which approximately 22.5GW could be covered by solar PV power generated from roof and commercial installations, Renusol said in a company statement.
“Homeowners and businesses have already begun to invest in solar power, however, as we have not only a lot of sun here, but also many surface areas that are suitable for the generation of solar power,” Vermaak said.
He added: “Many people also want to end their dependence on power outages, which are fairly common in South Africa. Power shortages sometimes disconnect entire suburbs from the power grid for several hours.”
Reduced need for power cuts
Despite the growing need for alternative power, the state-owned power utility, Eskom, has been implementing effective maintenance strategies since the end of last year, which has reduced the utility’s need to implement scheduled power outages, especially of the suggested long periods of time.
In a company statement, Eskom stated they “expect the system to remain stable throughout the rest of the summer period following a rigorous programme of planned maintenance over the festive season.”
Homepage pic credit: Renusol