South Africa’s drive towards a just energy transition and net zero carbon emissions should be seen as a great opportunity, rather than a cumbersome task. While the transition is sure to be a challenge, it does not have to be a headache if the right decisions are made, backed by the right technology, states solar energy company Valsa Trading MD Svilen Voychev.
“Valsa has been operating for 12 years, and we have learnt much about the needs and nuances of the South African market. I look forward to engaging with fellow solar photovoltaic (PV) enthusiasts at Solar Power Africa, to share what I have learned,” says Voychev.
He also highlights a few key lessons and trends which the growing PV market should take into account when embarking on new projects.
The first is to prioritise local procurement, as he argues that there is no substitute for local expertise and locally made equipment that takes into account conditions in South Africa.
The solar power supply chain must be prepared to act not just as suppliers, but also consultants to ensure the success of new PV installations, he adds.
“If your supplier isn’t discussing your options with you – get a new supplier.”
He also states that planning is key.
“Before investing in your power system, it is crucial to identify your needs. This means assessing your consumer profile, your energy use habits on a day-to-day basis, site conditions, and the end goal of your solar PV solution. Projects must be approached with careful planning and consideration to ensure success and return on investment. Your PV partner will know the right questions to ask you,” stresses Voychev.
He adds that product choice is vital, as PV systems are not simply an “off the shelf” solution.
Making the incorrect choice in solar products can diminish ones return investments, threaten compliance, or pose health and safety risks. This is why it is crucial to engage knowledgeable and compliant PV partners, he adds.
He notes that a trusted partner can help local businesses navigate their PV projects and ensure maximum reward and minimised risk.
“If we can’t help you, our extensive partner network can. I believe that South Africa has great potential to achieve our climate change targets and lower our carbon footprint. As businesses and individuals seek to improve their energy use habits, it is vital for companies like Valsa to be present to guide the way to keep us heading in the right direction,” concludes Voychev.