In response to South Africa’s national power utility Eskom’s challenge to meet the nation’s energy demand, alternative energy sources are being thoroughly explored and it appears that an answer to South Africa’s short, medium and long-term energy supplies lies in renewables. South Africa is recognised for having abundant natural energy sources, including a sunny climate with the capacity to produce an ample supply of solar energy. The ongoing load shedding presents unrivalled opportunities for rooftop solar entities. It is crucial that manufacturers are educated on the extensive benefits that solar holds in store for their businesses and the annual Manufacturing Indaba serves as the perfect platform for solar solution companies to enlighten them and ultimately expand their customer base.
First and foremost, large manufacturing facilities represent the ideal space for solar system installations as their sizeable, flat roofs enable a substantial surface area for installing not only more solar panels, but lengthier strings that catch more sunlight, thereby generating even more electricity. Furthermore, manufacturing plants are typically located in industrial parks and other outlying areas, isolated from overshadowing skyscrapers in city centres that conceal solar panels from the sunlight. Therefore, manufacturing factories can reap greater benefits from solar PV installation for extended periods of uninterrupted sunlight translating into greater energy generation, and thereby increasing the return on investment. Moreover, manufacturers can take advantage of installing solar panels on the vast expanse of rooftops of their parking lots and carports, which undoubtedly service a multitude of vehicles belonging to its workers. This presents versatile utilisation of space that would have otherwise been wasted.
Rooftop solar systems generate electricity during the daylight, coinciding with the peak hours of most factory operations. Hence, while the sun is out, manufacturing facilities have the option to either limit their dependence on the national grid or abandon it completely. This reliable power backup ensures manufacturing productivity during peak hours, thereby translating into greater profits.
Further, going solar reduces, and may eventually eliminate, a manufacturer’s reliance on diesel backup for generators to ensure uninterrupted power. In addition, solar requires minimal maintenance, having no moving parts and is silent thus doesn’t contribute to an already loud factory environment. Additionally, rooftop solar PV systems can be tailored specifically to meet a factory’s unique space, energy and budget requirements.
Energy Security Rooftop Solar PV plants have capacity to support designated loads or all connected loads if load shedding occurs during the day. What’s more, solar PV plants can provide battery storage solutions, thereby supporting factories at night.
It consequently remains evident that the manufacturing sector can profit considerably from solar power solutions. Industrial factories utilise a significant amount of electricity during the production process and this energy constitutes a major expense for the utility, as well as contributing to a significant amount of pollution to power the plant. Increased energy consumption coupled with the expected increase in retail electricity prices in the commercial sector purports that manufacturers will inevitably be confronted with higher expenses, ultimately eating into a significant portion of their bottom-line. Large-scale commercial solar panel installations provide tremendous cost-cutting benefits for manufacturers and there is no better time than now for industrialists to capitalise on solar technologies.
The Manufacturing Indaba is set to provide current and prospective solar solution companies from across Sub-Saharan Africa with an exciting and collaborative stage from which they can develop indispensable networks with key manufacturing industry players. The exhibition invites all ambitious solar companies to seize this unique opportunity in the manufacturing market and showcase your capabilities to potential manufacturing clients. Having proven invaluable in fostering significant business relationships, forging gateways for attendees into new markets and exploring challenges and opportunities to promote innovation in manufacturing operations, this event serves as the ideal environment to exhibit the benefits of your solar solutions to attending manufacturers, who have the potential to take your solar business to the next level.