South Africa shows strong support for solar energyJanuary 6, 2016
Solar power is gaining momentum in South Africa
Solar energy is beginning to gain ground in South Africa. In the past, solar panels had been quite rare in the country, with only the rich being able to afford these energy systems for their homes. With the cost of photovoltaic technology falling, however, the availability of solar energy is expanding rapidly. In 2010, the South African government launched the Integrated Resource Plan, which aims to bolster the country’s energy generation infrastructure. Solar energy has come to play a significant role in this plan.
Government plans to expand solar capacity to 9,600 MW by 2030
Through the Integrated Resource Plan, South Africa intends to expand its solar energy capacity to 9,600 megawatts by 2030. Since 2010, many solar projects have begun taking form in the country, with developers benefiting from government support and the falling cost of solar technologies. Notably, concentrated solar power systems are becoming more popular. These systems concentrate sunlight to produce heat, which is then used to create steam that can be used to produce electrical power.
Solar energy does face certain challenges
The government has shown a great deal of interest in solar energy, but it is not blind to the shortcomings of this form of clean energy. Solar power systems are only viable during the daytime and when there are very few clouds in the sky. In South Africa, this means that solar energy systems can produce power approximately eight hours a day. Solar panels must also be positioned to take advantage of the sun. As the sun travels across the sky, some solar panels lose their ability to produce electricity.
South Africa believes that solar power can become a very valuable resource in the coming years
Despite some of the issues that solar energy faces, it is still considered a very attractive and economically viable form of clean power. A greater focus on solar energy will allow South Africa to distance itself from fossil-fuels. This will also ensure the country is energy sustainable and will not have to rely on other countries for the electrical power that it needs.