Solar Energy Doesn’t Help During Peak Load-Shedding. More solar energy has been installed by businesses and residential areas, which has decreased load-shedding.
Chris Yelland, an energy expert, said that thousands of smaller and medium-sized solar photovoltaic and battery storage installations across South Africa have resulted in Eskom’s power demand decreasing.
Electricity Minister Kgosigensho Ramokgopa said Eskom has had fewer breakdowns and lower planned maintenance, resulting in fewer load-sheddings.
Solar Energy Doesn’t Help During Peak Load-Shedding
Businesses were frustrated by Eskom’s load-shedding and switched to alternative energy sources such as solar and wind. There has been a boom in the solar industry, making it an Eskom alternative.
South Africa’s sole electricity provider, Eskom, has been unable to keep up with the current electricity demand due to the fact that it is the only provider for 100 years.
However, Eskom said the system is still under pressure during peak hours, even as solar uptake increases for households and businesses.
A utility response explained that solar energy is not very effective in meeting demand between 6am and 9am and 6pm and 9pm since there isn’t enough solar energy.
About 4000 megawatts of “effective” rooftop PV are installed in the country, according to the System Operator. In contrast, demand offset from the grid can be measured nationally.
Although PV generation does not play a significant role during the morning and evening peak demand periods for electricity, they are the heaviest periods of the day for electricity. PV generation cannot support the evening peak period after sunset,” it said.
With enough roof space to generate 4.7 gigawatts of electricity, the South African commercial property industry has the potential to alleviate the country’s power crisis, according to a study by Gmaven, a South African real estate software and data services company.
“There would be an annual savings of R12.3 billion if two-thirds of commercial properties in those cities were equipped with solar panels,” Gmaven said.
Solar power can be sold to Eskom through feed-in tariffs and cash back to houses and businesses as they migrate to solar.
A surplus will allow Eskom to compensate for the shortage in megawatts on the grid by using the excess power.
But Ramokgopa warns that the country’s grid constraints will result in excess power going to waste, since the grid cannot handle it.
Cyril Ramaphosa cited rooftop solar as one of the solutions in his energy action plan presented last year in July to a 15-year power crisis that has worsened to the point where rotational blackouts have been imposed almost every day.
Our country has a great deal of sunlight that we could use to generate electricity. Households and businesses can connect rooftop solar power to the grid and save significant amounts of money by doing so, according to him.
Solar energy has become increasingly popular in Cape Town due to incentives for companies to feed excess power to the grid and receive cash back for it.
Feed-in tariffs are being increased by 10.15% for consumers and businesses selling power back to the grid.
Tax deductions for renewable energy projects can reach 125% for businesses. Solar panels can be claimed back as a tax deduction for the next year by households. During March’s budget vote, Cape Town mayor Geordin Hill-Lewis said households would only receive R15000 as an incentive.
Residential and commercial solar photovoltaic installations have been increasing every year, according to Yelland.
It’s possible to reduce a load-shedding stage by adding 1,000 megawatts of rooftop solar PV over a period.