I was having a conversation with a colleague in France last week and he mentioned that he had been busy finalising his plans for a wood fire heating system to ensure that he could keep his household warm for the upcoming European winter. Gas supply to Europe is still dire due to the Russian/Ukrainian conflict and I was reminded at this point that South Africans are not alone in a somewhat ‘global’ energy crisis. It seems to be the topic of conversation these days and everyone has got their point of view in terms of what they are doing, or going to be doing, to ensure that they can keep their lights on.
I have always tried to look at the ‘glass half full’ view of most crises and for South Africa, our economic and personal energy demands are likely to be met with a lot less, coal fired generation resources. Historically we have relied on coal fired power stations for around 95% of our energy production but now we have a 2030 target set for 19 GW of electricity produced through renewable methods.
This is going to require a significant investment from public and private sectors, both local and international, but there is ‘light at the end of the tunnel’ – and not necessarily candle light alone.
For South Africa, the focus is going to be on power generation through wind and solar installations, as we have an abundance of these two elements. We are going to see rapid growth in businesses, both new and existing, that are focused on solar and wind installations as well as services & supply around these installations. This carries a scent of potential sweet success if we are able to harness the elements as well as our professional skills, to end up with a booming renewable energy sector. One that would even raise the brows of the 1st world.
According to a recent press release, Operation Vulindlela, a joint initiative from the Presidency and National Treasury, has been successful in supporting and driving the fast-tracking of regulatory approvals for 97 projects, mostly in solar installations but also in biomass and wind generation too. This could leverage up to 8000 MW’s, a long way to go towards 2030 but a step in the right direction at least.
At Vizi Solutions, we have dealt with a number of prospective private energy produces that have been gearing up to ‘shoot the lights out’ but up until now they have struggled to secure the investment required to get going.
Hopefully now, and amongst others, they will be able to get their shot and we will be right behind them with our tools and solutions to grow with them into a ‘brighter’ future.