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South Africa's Solar Industry and Opportunities - A Brief Look

Solar energy is fast becoming the go to solution for powering up businesses and homes.

What is more is that solar energy is natural, safe to the environment, and reliable.

Solar energy, like all other renewable energies, is very safe and environmentally friendly. There are no emissions as the source of fuel is the sun, unlike coal-powered stations. Most areas in South Africa average more than 2 500 hours of sunshine per year, and average solar-radiation levels range between 4.5 and 6.5kWh/m2 in one day.

The southern African region, and in fact the whole of Africa, has sunshine all year round. The annual 24-hour global solar radiation average is about 220 W/m2 for South Africa, compared with about 150 W/m2 for parts of the USA, and about 100 W/m2 for Europe and the United Kingdom. This makes South Africa's local resource one of the highest in the world. Solar energy is a readily accessible resource in South Africa, and it lends itself to several potential uses, where businesses and home can come completely off the grid.

South Africa’s solar-equipment industry is growing rapidly. Annual photovoltaic (PV) panel-assembly capacity totals 5MW, and several companies in South Africa manufacture solar water-heaters.

With South Africa’s grid under severe strain, and the daily occurrences of load-shedding, many are relying on alternate power solutions, some temporary like inverters and generators, while others are seeking a more permanent solutions such a solar, hydro and wind power.

One thing is for sure is that loadshedding is severely impacting business operations and revenue.

Switching to alternative energy is the next best option for reliable, sustainable energy that has zero impact to the environment.


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