2021 State of Eskom Load Shedding & What To Do About It
Did you know that in 2020 we experienced more load-shedding than at any other time in South African history? Add to this Eskom’s efforts to increase tariffs and the Covid-19 crisis that has seen people working from home who are now more reliant on a stable electricity supply to stay online – and you start to get a sinking feeling. While there’s no end in sight to Eskom’s woes, there are solutions that are proven to work for private and business consumers.
In this blog, we’ll take a quick look at the state of Eskom and what you can expect in terms of load-shedding in 2021. Solec SA experts are in the business of finding the best sustainable energy solutions for our clients, so we’ll get straight to what you can do about it, and what you need to know before you even think about going solar.
The current state of Eskom energy supply in SA
It’s official; 2020 was the worst year so far for load-shedding. According to a BusinessTech report, new data gathered by the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) shows that by September last year, the country had already experienced around 1,500 gigawatt hours (GW/h) of total power outages – that’s 200 GW/h more than the worst years on record for outages in 2015 and 2019. And it seems you're lumped with load shedding in 2021.
In Eskom’s September presentation to parliament last year, power utility executives warned that we could expect an unreliable power supply for at least the next 18 months. We also learned from the presentation that if unplanned breakdowns of poorly maintained generation plants exceed the predicted levels, the country could experience up to stage three load-shedding until March 2022.
We’ve also discovered from a news24 report that by 2022, the country would have reached an energy shortfall of 4,500GW/h, at a cost of R60 billion to R120 billion, according to the (CSIR).
Solar solutions take the sting out of load-shedding
While there are a few alternatives to Eskom-generated electricity supply, we believe solar power is still the most effective solution. It’s completely noiseless, sustainable and environmentally friendly, while also being free to run. For a comparison of energy options, read our blog Eskom vs Generators vs Solar: Load Shedding Options.
The Mail & Guardian recently calculated that if one million South African households installed an average of 600W of solar, they would add the equivalent of 600MW to the grid. The article pointed out that even those who could not afford the capital outlay would ultimately benefit from applying for a loan because the savings on their electricity bills as a result of solar usage, would exceed the interest they’d pay on a loan.
It should be kept in mind that the most significant immediate financial implication when considering solar power is the installation cost. But because solar is free to run once installed, it returns its investment within an average of 7 years, which makes it an exceptionally beneficial option for both businesses and homeowners.
Not all solar products and services are of a quality you want for your home or business. Partnering with a solar solutions provider that has a proven track record and impeccable reputation will help you avoid the fallout from poor quality products and bad installations.
The best solutions providers are about more than the next sale – they’re passionate about renewable energy and helping their customers transition effortlessly to solar power. At Solec South Africa, we design and install high quality solar projects with our own in-house team headed by a dedicated foreman who has the appropriate training, experience and qualifications. We provide a turnkey renewable energy solution, from start to finish. We’re true believers in the revolutionary switch to solar.
While solar power is gaining popularity in South Africa, it’s benefits and the steps to take for installation are not common knowledge. Getting to grips with a solar solution for your household or business is one of the most exciting parts of the journey to renewable energy. Carefully choosing your solar solutions provider to guide you through the process will help you enjoy the ride.
In a recent interview with Engineering News, following an informative webinar for residential property owners and investors interested in solar energy, Solec SA Managing Director, Rein Snoeck Henkemans, gave advice to home and business owners about carrying out due diligence before picking a solar product or solar installer. This included verifying the supplier’s credentials and asking for case studies, checking that they are licensed to conduct solar installations and have a Wireman’s license, understanding the relationship between panels, batteries and inverters, and ensuring your quotation and installation costs are broken down by individual parts.
If you’d like to find out more on the topic, take a look at 10 Factors to Consider When Choosing Your Solar Installer and download your free Solar Installer Checklist.