Oct 02, 2009
Local renewable-energy industry must consolidate to advanceBack
Africa|Building|Eskom|Modular|Projects|Renewable Energy|Renewable-Energy|Sustainable|System|Systems|Africa|Energy|Equipment|Power Generation|Power-generation|Solutions|Systems|Power
© Reuse this
He says that, because the industry con- sists of a number of smaller companies providing a variety of renewable-energy solutions, for the entire industry to increase its visibility and effectiveness, the public should be made aware of the range of solu- tions available to take advantage of the technologies that will contribute most effectively towards individual energy conservation and efficiency. “We are not looking to sustain wasteful life styles and we will achieve this by educating and responsibly recommending the most appropriate solution,” he adds.
The Power Company provides photovoltaic system solutions using solar modules that are usually mounted on the roof of a building and store the energy the panels generate in batteries. Alternatively, the energy can be transferred directly into the building’s distribution board. In each of these options, inverters are used to produce conventional alternating current power. “In pure power backup designs, when grid power fails, the switch-over to battery-stored electricity is almost instantaneous. “The systems have been extensively tested on computers, their servers and other critical load applications, and changeover from grid power to solar power is achieved almost imperceptibly with no negative impact on equipment,” says Curtis.
The system has a control box, which allows users to monitor battery levels and indicates whether grid power or solar power is in use. The inverter in the system is also able to monitor when batteries are charged to full capacity.
Curtis explains that in Germany, in particu- lar, many individuals have had solar power generation systems installed on their properties. The full amount of energy generated by the system is fed into the national grid through a dedicated meter, at a predetermined price. Electricity is then taken from the grid through a second meter at a lower price. The differential provides an income stream, which, over time, pays for the system.
In South Africa this arrangement could assist in reducing the pressure on State-owned power utility Eskom to invest in highly expensive bulk power generation projects, says Curtis. “The National Energy Regulator of South Africa is currently giving close consi- deration to the implementation of such a scheme. “The opportunity to sell power back to the grid adds a meaningful incentive for people to invest in solar power systems on their properties and South Africa has one of the best sunshine regimes in the world,” he says.
The system has an estimated life span of 20 years to 25 years.
Curtis says that there are a variety of markets available for the system and that the company assesses the needs of clients on an individual basis, according to the size and electricity requirements of the property. He adds that a benefit of the system is that it is modular and can be increased as required by a user.
Although The Power Company is currently primarily involved with photovoltaic solutions, it also aims to promote and support companies providing other renewable-energy solutions.
He concludes that the approach to renew- able-energy solutions needs to shift from a focus on initial spend to long-term investment, particularly in retrofit applications.
Edited by: Brindaveni Naidoo© Reuse this Comment Guidelines (150 word limit)
Other Electricity News
Waste heat recovery has started at two major sites owned by telecommunications group MTN, with more sites to be converted during the remainder of the year, power solutions provider Master Power Technologies says. MTN made use of trigeneration, with gas used to...
Recent Research Reports
Liquid Fuels 2015: A review of South Africa's liquid fuels sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Liquid Fuels 2015 Report examines these issues in the context of South Africa’s business environment; oil and gas exploration; fuel pricing; the development of the country’s biofuels industry; the logistics of transporting liquid fuels; and...
Road and Rail 2015: A review of South Africa's road and rail sectors (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Road and Rail 2015 report examines South Africa’s road and rail transport system, with particular focus on the size and state of the country’s road and rail infrastructure and network, the funding and maintenance of these respective networks, and...
Defence 2015: A review of South Africa's defence sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Coal 2015 report examines South Africa’s coal industry with regards to the business environment, the key participants in the sector, local demand, export sales and coal logistics, projects being undertaken by the large and smaller participants in the...
Real Economy Year Book 2015 (PDF Report)
There are very few beacons of hope on South Africa’s economic horizon. Economic growth is weak, unemployment is rising, electricity supply is insufficient to meet demand and/or spur growth, with poor prospects for many of the commodities mined and exported. However,...
Real Economy Insight: Automotive 2015 (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Real Economy Year Book comprises separate reports under the banner Real Economy Insight and investigates key developments in the automotive, construction, electricity, road and rail, steel, water, gold, iron-ore and platinum sectors.
Real Economy Insight: Water 2015 (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Real Economy Year Book has been divided into individual reports under the banner Real Economy Insight and investigates key developments in the automotive, construction, electricity, road and rail, steel, water, coal, gold, iron-ore and platinum sectors.
This Week's Magazine
Energy analyst and EE Publishers MD Chris Yelland warned recently against excessive optimism regarding timescales for the proposed construction of new nuclear power plants (NPPs) in South Africa. He was speaking at a Nuclear Roundtable in Johannesburg. “I think we...
Malawi’s Lilongwe Water Board (LWB) is inviting eligible bidders to prequalify for the board’s efficiency improvement works, which will be implemented as part of the E24-million Lilongwe Water Resources Efficiency Programme. LWB CEO Alfonso Chikuni explains that...
CROATIA, AN EU MEMBER BUT NOT A TDCA MEMBER On July 1, 2013, Croatia officially became the twenty-eighth member of the European Union (EU). Despite Croatia’s accession into the EU, it is yet to become party to the Trade, Development and Cooperation Agreement (TDCA)...
The Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) has announced that its new Inundu airborne electronics testing, evaluation and training pod had made its first test flight on September 10. The successful flight was undertaken from Lanseria International...
The Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA) – which disbursed a record R13-billion during 2015, from R12.7-billion in the prior year – remained optimistic that it could ramp-up loan disbursements to R25-billion a year by 2018 as it sought to give greater emphasis...