Small scale solar South Africa: it’s a sure thing

An in depth report of all main findings and conclusions from the latest business trip to South Africa combined with thorough theoretical research. Answering the question “can electricity be available and renewable energy technology be affordable for all?

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This report takes a closer look at the solar opportunities in South-Africa. By examining the current state of the African continent the report describes the development towards the near future and all threats and opportunities on the horizon. It includes valuable input from entrepreneurs, electricity consumers and other stakeholders of the South-African solar energy industry. And views from journalists and renewable energy experts worldwide.

 

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Abstract

 

The solar potential for South Africa is vast. Only based on geographical features the country is ideal for the production of an abundance of electricity through solar technology. However this is not a motivation in itself to adapt to this technology. More important is the end-product: electricity. Some argue that the African continent is currently facing an energy-crisis, struggling to keep up with a growing demand and supplying [regular] electricity to every single user. Can solar technology be a solution to these issue in general and for South Africa in particular?

 

This study examines whether electricity can be available and solar technology can be affordable for everyone in South Africa. By looking at the continent at large I explore the need and demand for electricity in a world that is electrifying. More and more people need more and more electricity. This is also true for most people in African countries, but the actual situation and outlook can differ quite a lot from the rest of world. Many issues are the same for many African countries. For example the management of the national electricity infrastructure is a tough job many governments are struggling with, also in South Africa.

 

The developments in the solar energy realm are quite the fit for the African market. For example the dropping prices of solar panels make the technology affordable for a large part of the population. Startup companies combining this market trend with smart new business models are leading the way towards affordable and accessible solar technology for everyone.

 

In South Africa besides the off-grid consumers, there is also an entire market of grid-connected consumers, that also want to have a secure electricity flow. And switch to solar technology.
This report guides you through the facts, the do’s and don’ts and explains where exactly the potential for solar technology lies. Making a case for affordable and available renewable energy for everyone and pushing any business venture to set up shop in South Africa.

 

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