Battery storage will have a significant and firm impact on the uptake of renewable energy in South Africa, enabling users, whether in the retail or industrial space, to leverage some of the value that solar energy can create, says SOLA Future Energy energy storage services head Daniel Goldstuck.
Speaking during a panel discussion at the PowerGen conference, held in Sandton, on Wednesday, he noted that by combining solar photovoltaic (PV) systems and battery storage, the dependency on the national electricity grid can be reduced by between 60% and 70%.
Implementing battery storage methods can also bring down a business’ margin, he pointed out.
University of the Western Cape South African Institute of Advanced Materials Chemistry deputy director Bernard Jan Bladergroen added that battery storage could also assist municipalities in deriving greater benefits from renewable energy.
“Municipalities wouldn’t need to go for just one type of storage or renewable energy, but would be able to integrate several different options in order to effectively create the most cost effective solution for their needs”.
Energy Security Services Africa strategic energy and client delivery Africa head Gareth Gregory, meanwhile, told delegates attending the conference that battery storage is an enabler in terms of avoiding the need for generation.
“Avoiding the need for generation in an environment such as a municipality, could allow the municipality to reduce the amount of new capital expenditure that is required to deliver to the energy requirements,” he elaborated.
Energy storage can act as a mitigator in bringing additional expensive generation on board, should it be required, he added.
Meanwhile, General Electric sub-Saharan Africa business development manager Sherwin Harris highlighted that there needs to be greater market awareness of the benefits of battery storage, while policy certainty is enacted.