More than 115 gigawatts (GW) of solar were installed across the world in 2019 according to the International Energy Agency (IEA). The future of solar energy in South Africa is looking promising.
Wind and solar energy are becoming the least expensive forms of power in two-thirds of the planet and will replace gas and coal within the next decade.
Solar energy is safe and friendly to our environment. There are no emissions such as those from more traditional energy like coal as it’s far more clean as it comes from the sun. In South Africa, there are 2 500 hours of sunshine per year, and the country experiences a 24-hour global solar radiation average of approximately 220 W/m2. This means solar energy is an effective alternate source of energy.
In South Africa, solar energy is becoming increasingly more attractive because of its affordability. Advances in solar technology will push these costs even further down. Prices in solar energy have decreased by 80% since 2005. Solar water heating is becoming more popular and a pilot programme has been launched within the public-private sector that aims to provide electricity services sourced from solar energy.
These are all positive signs and future growth in this sector is looking promising. Unfortunately, this is still not enough to meet global demand and sustainability, but the current path is encouraging to see.