South Africa’s Big Move to Solar Power in 2023

Last year, South Africa made a huge leap towards using the sun for power. The country bought R17.5 billion worth of solar panels because of the worst power cuts in history. This big buy adds up to about 5,000 MW of power – that’s a lot of energy from the sun!

Gaylor Montmasson-Clair, an expert at Trade and Industrial Policy Strategies (TIPS), shared these numbers. He said that the amount of money spent on solar panels in 2023 was three times more than in 2022. That’s because more and more people and businesses are getting tired of the unreliable power supply and are looking for a better solution.

With power cuts happening more often, everyone’s rushing to get solar panels, inverters, and batteries. Montmasson-Clair noticed that people really started buying a lot of solar panels at the start of 2023. In just the first half of the year, South Africa imported solar panels worth R11.4 billion because everyone was worried about even more power cuts in the winter. Plus, the government gave a tax break for people installing solar panels on their roofs, which helped a lot.

This big shift to solar power is not just good for keeping the lights on; it’s also creating new business opportunities right here in South Africa. We’ve spent nearly R40 billion on solar panels since 2010, and while the government helped at first, now it’s mostly private companies and people making the investments.

Eskom, the power company, says that there’s now 5,412 MW of solar power installed by private folks across the country. That’s even more power than what Eskom’s biggest coal power stations can make! And while these solar setups can’t always make power (since the sun doesn’t shine all the time), they’ve been really helpful in reducing the need for power cuts on sunny days. However, this does mean Eskom sells a bit less power than before.

Marco Schutte, who runs Sub Sahara Solar, says, “Seeing so many people in South Africa choose solar power is really exciting. It shows we’re ready to use clean energy and make our power supply more reliable. We need to keep supporting solar power to make the most of it.”

So, as South Africa deals with power cuts, more and more people are turning to the sun for energy. It’s a smart move that’s not just about keeping our lights on today but also making sure we have a cleaner, more reliable way to power our future.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *