There has been much talk from Eskom as to the reason why loadshedding has been very quiet of late. They talk about ‘stability of the grid’ and no unexpected problems at any of the power stations, and they generally make quite a big fuss about it. Doesn’t seem right that the fact that they can claim themselves for not loadshedding, but one knows better than to stand up and complain to Eskom. They do have the ability to turn off the lights at any stage whatsoever.
Could it be possible that the sudden influx of renewables, and many hundreds of solar and wind installations across the country, have collectively contributed to the difference? Much has been written about the fact that all the small installations, like my own, have contributed to the easing of the grid, and thus the lessening of loadshedding.
The renewable energy industry in South Africa is fast becoming a runaway train, with more businesses, industries and households realizing that the investment in a solar system is extremely beneficial and financially astute in the long run, that the sun is going to provide us with energy forever, and that having power often is the difference between working and making money, or powering down and not having the capability of making any income whatsoever. So rather spend the outlay as soon as possible, in order to keep working and in order to keep making a living.
The big question on everyone’s lips however, is where will it end? If the trend continues, it is quite possible that Eskom will start losing clients in large numbers. In addition, the people who are making the decisions to set up solar systems, are the potential top tier clients, the people who would be paying top rates for the electricity. This could make a large dent on Eskom, and thus local municipality income streams.
In order to keep viable, Eskom will have no choice but to up their rates for electricity. This will ultimately send more people on the solar route, and so a vicious cycle ensues.
Eskom are never going to bring their tariffs down, solar systems are going to gradually drop in prices, and as the industry becomes more efficient over time, so options for all the different possible clients in different economic sectors in the country will become available.
As I see it we as a nation, a business or a household/individual have no real option but to go big with solar, as soon as possible, as the way forward…