• November 4, 2023 1:21 am

South Africa Energy Landscape Undergoes Transformation as Eskom Faces Replacement

Oct 9, 2023
South Africa Energy Landscape Undergoes Transformation as Eskom Faces Replacement

South Africa is undergoing a transformative shift in its energy landscape, with private companies and households increasingly taking control of their electricity generation. This shift is poised to surpass Eskom’s capacity by 2023, marking a significant change in the country’s energy dynamics. Here are the key highlights:

South Africa Energy Landscape Undergoes Transformation as Eskom Faces Replacement

Private Sector to Replace Eskom

Research conducted by RMB Morgan Stanley indicates that, within the next two years, the private sector will effectively replace Eskom’s generation fleet. Eskom’s performance has notably deteriorated in recent years, marked by record levels of load-shedding in 2023.

Changing Narrative

The narrative surrounding electricity generation and load-shedding in South Africa is evolving toward a more positive outlook. Private entities are stepping in to fill the void left by Eskom, reminiscent of how private airlines emerged after the collapse of South African Airways.

Solar Boom

South Africa is experiencing a surge in solar installations, with over 4,400 MW of rooftop solar capacity installed across the country, excluding government-procured solar. This figure is expected to increase by a remarkable 420% by 2030.

Rooftop Solar Growth

Data sourced from Eskom and Professor Anton Eberhard reveals that South African households and businesses installed 4,412 MW of rooftop solar within the 12 months leading up to June 2023. This represents a substantial 349% increase from March 2022.

Record Solar Panel Imports

The importation of solar panels has reached record levels, with South Africans importing panels worth R12 billion in 2023, contributing an additional 2,200 MW of capacity to the grid.

Impact on Eskom’s Revenue

The exponential growth in rooftop solar installations has begun to affect Eskom’s revenue, as an increasing number of private sector clients reduce their reliance on the utility for electricity. Eskom’s sales have declined by 2.3%, according to Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan.

By the end of August, solar panels capable of generating 4,481 MW had been installed, representing a substantial increase of 2,500 MW compared to the previous year, excluding government-procured energy under the Independent Power Producers program.

This shift toward decentralized energy generation signifies a fundamental change in South Africa’s energy sector, with the private sector and renewable energy sources playing an increasingly dominant role.

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