South Africa’s Minister of Public Enterprises, Mr Pravin Gordhan, has confirmed a 350% increase in solar panel-generated electricity from March 2022 to March this year.
This growth in renewable energy adoption, driven by factors such as load-shedding, rising electricity tariffs, and climate change goals, poses challenges for municipalities heavily reliant on electricity sales for income.
Buffalo City in East London, for instance, has lost R350 million in revenue due to private-sector solar power deployment. The country has witnessed a surge in private-sector solar PV projects, totalling 2899MW, following regulatory amendments in 2021.
Additionally, a recent survey by industry associations shows that South Africa has 13,305MW of shovel-ready solar PV and 19,572MW of solar PV with battery storage projects.
Chinese customs data reveals significant solar panel imports into South Africa, totalling over 5GW (or US$1.1 billion) since January 2022, with 3.7GW in 2023 alone.