South Africa fights energy crises with renewable resources

 Between 2007 and 2008 the high energy prices and supplys has caused a huge energy crisis in South Africa.

In effect on January 2008 Eskome, South Africa’s state energy company, declared a lack of energy to meet the demand and requested its costumers to reduce their energy consumption and demand to avoid an energy system’s total collapse.

South African economy hit hard by this energy crisis: during the end of 2007 and Jenuary 2008 the costs of load shedding went up to ZAR 50 bn ($ 6.6 bn). Furthermore the impact of this energy crisis spread well beyond the borders of South Africa. Eskom, indeed, supplies also country like Namibia, Botswana and Swaziland, so the energy crisis in South Africa affected indirectly other region too.

But, in recent years, south african government has invested massive amounts of money in alternative and renewable energy’s resources.

A renewable resource of energy, like sun, has indeed undeniable advantages: it’s inexhaustible and it’s non polluting. Furthermore it could avoid future energy crisis due to the lack of fossil and mining fuels.

So the government has launched in 2011 the Renewable Energy Indipendent Power Procurement (REIPPP) Programme a plan to incentivate the utilisation of renewables and to take advantage of the high livel of south african renewable energy potential.

The REIPPP programme in encouraging investiments in renewable tecnologies wants to promote an energetic growth of South Africa and advance a sustainable economy for the country.

To this day under the REIPPP programme 60 project was aleready allocated, and more than half (35) on solar energy and photovoltaic technologies.

Renewable energies are therefore a sustainible way to face the aftermaths of energy crisis and the consequent increase of non renewable energy price’s increase.

Moreover the REIPPP programme gains consent also abroad: the European Investment Bank has recently announced a loan of 75 million to a solar power plamtììnt in Nothern Cape area.

But also a lot of foreign corporation has decided to invest in South Africa like the italian-based solar tracker manifacturer Convert which offers innovative pv technologies, equipments and industrial plants.

Also SMA, a german inverter manufacturer is present in South Africa under the REIPPP renewable enrgy programme. Thorsten Ronge, general manager of SMA Sub-Sahara Production said : “With an ambitious expansion target for photovoltaics and high solar irraditation, South Africa is a strategically important market for SMA. By beginning our local inverter production in time for the fourth round of the REIPPP programme, we have once again strengthened our position as the preferred partner for project developers, EPCs and financing banks in this attractive emerging marke”

Maybe the south african model could be an virtuous example of an effective reponse to the enery crises which affect a lot of countries in the world.

Invest in solar energies and other renewable is a mandative chellange to face the urgency of an increasingly alarming situation characterized by the deplation of non-renewable resources and serious environmental consequences.