South Africa’s unending energy crisis is fuelling a rush towards solar photovoltaic (PV) systems by households and businesses alike.
Even the government is joining the push for solar energy as a panacea to Eskom’s power generation woes.
Acting director-general of the department of mineral resources & energy Mthokozisi Mpofu said in February that South Africa could put an end to load shedding within 12 months by creating a conducive environment to enable adequate and large-scale use of solar PV.
Several energy experts have questioned this rather bold claim. However, there can be no doubt that solar energy has a key role to play in alleviating the power crisis.
Investing in solar
Before investing in rooftop solar panels, there are a few things that home and business owners should know about the technology and its limitations.
Possibly the biggest drawback facing current solar power solutions is that solar energy is only generated while the sun is shining.
This would not be an issue if there were low-cost ways of storing energy on sunny days where excess capacity can be generated. However, batteries are one of the most expensive components of a solar power system and tend to wear out quickly.
Also, the start-up costs of setting up an off-grid solar solution can, according to Capitec, range from R150 000 to R350 000. There is good news, though: prospective solar users do not need to invest in a fully off-grid solar system at once – they can instead grow their system over time.
Further good news is that banks and other lenders are capitalising on the growing demand for solar by creating new financial products and services aimed at funding solar installations, and the government even offers a 25% rebate on the cost of new rooftop solar panels – up to a maximum R15 000.
This means the first R60 000 you spend on solar panels will cost you R45 000 – and this significantly lowers the barrier to entry when it comes to installing solar power.
Choose the right solar system provider
Before diving into a solar installation at your residence or business, you must seek the help of a specialist solar PV system provider.
Specialist providers are qualified and familiar with the various regulations that govern solar installations and are able to do a proper assessment and advise on the exact needs of your particular house or business.
What’s more, any part of the installation that flows from the inverter – which converts direct current electricity generated by the solar panels to alternating current electricity used by the electrical grid — must be done and signed off through a certificate of compliance by a qualified and registered electrician.
Ellies is a trusted name in the South African energy industry and is the best partner for your solar power installation. It stocks a wide range of solar power products and also has a highly qualified team of engineers who will execute the installation on your behalf.
Ellies gives you peace of mind that the experts will get your solar system up and running – quickly and professionally.
Ellies is a household name. Chances are every household and business uses one or more of the products and services we provide. The strength of our group and brand rests on four pillars: innovation that is sparked by taking the time to understand what customers need; the quality of our products and services; people who are proud to work for and with Ellies; and foresight.
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