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Large scale Renewable Energy Faces Challenges Amidst Load Shedding, However Small-Scale Localised Solar Solutions Offers Bright Hope for the Future

With the continued pressing issue of load shedding, renewable energy in the form of localised solar systems stands as a viable and achievable solution for homeowners and businesses alike. However, recent developments reveal that large scale solar and wind farms might not be an instant fix for the country. The Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Programme (REIPPP) Bid Window 5’s failure to secure financial backing and Bid Window 6’s grid constraints have posed significant setbacks. This points to loadshedding increasing over the next 5 years.

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Bid Window 5: Stumbling Blocks and Revised Plans

Bid Window 5, once seen as a beacon of hope out of the energy crisis, encountered stumbling blocks on its path. It was recently reported that of the 4,600 MW renewable energy generation that was expected to come online, less than 1300 MW will be coming online. Of the initial 25 generation projects awarded, it has been confirmed that 12 have failed to reach financial close while a further 4 are awaiting financial closure. This is due to global events surrounding the Ukraine war and increased demand for renewable energy components causing financial difficulties for projects.

Bid Window 6: A Struggle with Grid Capacity

The doubling of bid window 6 by Cyril in July last year from 2,600 MW to 5,200 MW was part of the energy crisis response plan. However, what ended up taking place was the exact opposite. Eskom grid’s capacity constraints emerged as a significant challenge, resulting in a mere 860 MW from solar projects being confirmed out of the planned 5,200 MW. The inability to connect wind projects going forward in the South of the country further exacerbated the issue. The CSIR projected 10 years of load shedding going forward due to the single issue of grid capacity constraints.

Impact on Load Shedding: A Complex Scenario

As explained through the graph below, solar renewable energy projects, while promising, won’t offer immediate relief during evening peak demand periods as the electricity production curve of large solar projects contrasts with South Africa’s demand curve.

References: medium.com

This inverse relationship between the production curve and SA’s demand curve underscores the need for energy storage, such as solar system batteries for individuals or industrial-sized batteries for the grid, to prevent increased load shedding. The SA government has not addressed this issue and there are no plans to adopt large-scale battery power as a silver bullet, despite us all living in sunny South Africa.

Load Shedding Outlook: A Glimpse into the Future

Load shedding is projected by Energy Expert Matthew Cruise to increase over the next 5 years by. Cruise points out that there has already been a 50% increase in load shedding in 2023 compared to the previous year.

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Alarmingly, due to aging coal power stations and grid constraints Cruise’s conservative forecast from January this year suggests a potential doubling of load shedding over the next five years, a projection already surpassed by this years’ experience.

 

Commentary that is aligned with this comes from Energy Expert Chris Yelland, who recently indicated load shedding will take place over the next 5 years and pointed to the declining trend of the Energy Availability Factor at aging coal power stations as the main cause.

Navigating Toward a Sustainable Solution

While challenges persist, the quest for renewable energy remains critical. The journey may be arduous, but with strategic planning and investments in storage infrastructure, and access to consumer solutions such as Hohm Energy’s platform of the largest solar finance offering and your installation within 2-weeks, you and South Africa can pave the way toward a more sustainable energy landscape. As experts provide insights and guidance, the nation must work collectively to steer its energy future in the right direction, looking to form VPP’s or Virtual Power Plants (expanded solar grids) to feedback power into the grid at peak times.

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Hohm Energy stands out as a premier choice for solar solutions due to its distinctive features:

Comprehensive and Trusted Solar Services: Hohm Energy is reliable and has partnered exclusively with major Financial Service Providers and renowned financial/insurance brands. This unique partnership assures customers of unparalleled trustworthiness.

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Extensive Array of Finance Solutions: Hohm Energy takes pride in offering a spectrum of solar finance solutions all under one roof. Whether it’s GLINT subscription, MFC asset-backed finance, BettaBond, or ooba home loan assistance, customers can access a variety of financing options through Hohm’s dedicated advisors.

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Commitment to Quality: Hohm Energy places utmost emphasis on quality by exclusively utilising Tier-1 solar products and partnering with vetted solar installers. The service quality is rigorously maintained through third-party verification of every installation, ensuring the highest standards are met.

Tailored Solutions: Hohm Energy understands the uniqueness of each client’s energy requirements and budget constraints. Hence, it specializes in crafting personalized solutions that cater precisely to individual needs. Whether it’s the best finance, product, or installation route, Hohm offers bespoke options that align perfectly with the client’s preferences.

In summary, Hohm Energy acts as a reliable energy concierge, offering a custom-designed solar solution that perfectly matches your energy requirements and financial considerations. Backed by trusted partnerships with major financial players, Hohm delivers a hassle-free end-to-end experience complete with a wide range of solar finance options. The focus on quality, tailor-made solutions, and dedicated support truly sets Hohm Energy apart as a leader in the solar industry.

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