The deployment of solar-power systems to provide businesses with sustainable, self- generated electricity is increasingly viable because solar power has become cost effective, says power equipment company AEG Power Solutions MD Trevor de Vries.
“Over the past number of years, there have been some significant breakthroughs in solar energy, specifically in reducing the production costs of solar power. The difference in the cost of a kilowatt produced by a solar array, compared with a kilowatt from Eskom, has grown smaller,” he explains.
“As things currently stand, it already makes good business sense for companies to invest in solar solutions, and things will continue to shift until the ability to generate electricity at an affordable price would be limited only by the amount of space you have,” he adds.
This is not a dream for a distant future, as a number of AEG Power Solutions customers worldwide are using the solar power equivalent of an on-site utility. South Africa, with its plentiful supply of sunshine, is fast gaining an industrial solar consciousness, with several of the country’s larger commercial and industrial companies considering solar as their primary energy source, avers De Vries.
“Each company that implements this system is not only releasing some of the pressure on the national electrical utility grid, but is also potentially generating power back into the grid. Solar energy can flow directly from the source to the consumer and any excess can be sold to Eskom. This changes the dynamics of how we view and use power,” De Vries points out.
As sustainability issues become more prominent in the business environment, renewable-energy sources, like solar, are increasingly regarded as necessary additions to any com- pany’s corporate social responsibility portfolio, he says.
AEG Power Solutions sponsors several community upliftment projects and has invested millions in the local economy by building a factory in the Western Cape that produces photovoltaic technologies for its green-energy systems.
“The construction of this factory strengthens our ability to offer solutions that benefit South Africa’s economy as a whole and demonstrates our dedication to providing sustainable, efficient outcomes for our entire ecosystem,” concludes De Vries.