This calculator shows how much it will cost to exit Eskom’s network

South Africans are bracing for another year of power cuts, with experts warning load shedding could get worse and more frequent in 2022.

Recent figures released by the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) show that far from stabilizing or gradually easing, load shedding incidents have exploded over the past 15 years.

Notably, a record 2,455 gigawatts per hour (GWh) was off the national grid between January and November last year, compared to just 176 GWh in 2007, meaning South Africa suffered an increase massive load shedding of almost 1,300% since its first implementation.

“The reality is that South Africa’s energy infrastructure does not have the generation capacity to meet the demands of our economy – a challenge that has been compounded by aging and poorly maintained power stations prone to breakdowns. The development of new infrastructure is also very stifled,” said Snoeck Henkemans, managing director of Alumo Energy.

“The good news, however, is that Eskom’s inability to consistently operate at full capacity, or bring sufficient new generation capacity on board to support our burgeoning population, means that South Africans are literally taking over the power by turning to solar as an attractive and independent energy alternative.

How much does it cost

Alumo Energy has developed a calculator which shows the potential installation costs and electricity bill savings of a solar solution.

“It is also important to remember that where electricity prices continue to rise in double digits year-on-year, solar energy offers a relatively stable supply of energy, particularly in South Africa. South where good weather conditions allow for excellent potential for solar exploitation, and the benefits of a fixed price for decades to come.

“That said, we generally recommend that users avoid completely disconnecting from the network. By even implementing an 80% rather than 100% off-grid system, users will have the ability to leverage an additional power supply as a safety net if needed. »

To completely remove that safety net requires exponentially more battery capacity, which means that extra 20% is also much more expensive, he said. Henkemans reports that Alumo Energy saw a 259% increase in requests for solar solutions in 2021 compared to 2020.

“The solar industry is experiencing phenomenal growth, which as a country is not only positive for the growth of the industrial sector and job creation, but also acts to alleviate a considerable amount of pressure from the national grid. .”

“Meanwhile, the advantages of solar solutions over other smaller energy supply alternatives such as generators is that they are not only less noisy but also more cost effective in the long run. Solar systems offer a longer lifespan, save significant fuel and maintenance expenses, and are more environmentally friendly. Ultimately, the growth of the solar industry represents a win-win for the country and households.

Read: Expect another record year of load shedding in South Africa: economists

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