INCREASED load shedding and endless electricity price hikes continues to haunt South Africa. A recent statement by the Democratic Alliance (DA) estimates that, since 2008, load shedding has cost the country R 300bn and 1 million jobs.
“The sad reality is that the current situation will get a lot worse, before we see any improvement,” says Ryan Steytler, energy expert and Director, The Sungrid Group (In2Brands). Involved in portable (solar) power, The Sungrid Group (In2Brands) are focused on providing viable and alternative solutions to the South African consumer. “Eighty years ago the concept of harnessing the sun’s energy hadn’t been imagined. Today, we are putting the sun’s energy in your pocket,” continues Steytler.
Its latest offering, Solsave, offers consumers a full range of alternative energy choices comprising both smaller and heavier portable off-grid power options. Its flagship offering, the Solsave my-powa, a solar power bank making use of the latest Sun Power Cell (SPC) technology, is able to quickly generate power with a world record efficiency panel.
A mere 10 hours of direct sunlight provides enough power to charge all essential devices including phone, tablet, camera, MP3 player, eReader, GPS, action cameras and smart watches. “But the real beauty is that for those who choose, Solsave’s my-powa can also be charged via a conventional wall plug (USB wall charger) for maximum convenience,” says Steytler.
Early 2014 saw the rollout of its ‘Switch to Portable Solar Power’ campaign, focused on providing the country (and Africa) with reliable, cost-effective and environmentally friendly energy alternatives. “The uptake and market interest was encouraging, with market response confirming the need for both smaller and heavier additional portable solutions,” continues Steytler.
In response, this year sees the launch of Solsave, a global brand with local roots. Ranging from 1000 – 3000 Watt, it offers an answer to South Africa’s energy crisis across home, office, outdoor and emergency use. “South Africa is looking for solutions,” continues Steytler. “Whilst we are passionate about portable solar power, consumers also want the comfort of something familiar.” In response, the Solsave range comes with both on- and off-grid capability.
Contrary to a few years ago, it is now commonplace for South Africans to consider and investigate alternative sources of power. “This is a clear indication of the country’s energy crisis and lack of confidence in Eskom to supply uninterrupted and reliable power,” says Steytler.”What South Africa needs is greater access to independent (portable) power solutions that are cost-effective and environmentally friendly, whilst capable of addressing any and all power requirements.”
Outdoor Warehouse, supplier of the largest range of outdoor equipment, clothing and footwear in South Africa, will now be stocking the ‘Switch to Portable Solar Power’ product range throughout all of its stores nationwide.
“We were impressed with both the Ecoboxx and WakaWaka products upon our initial introduction to them,” says Michael Kriel, Outdoor Warehouse. Confident that these products would add value to its solar power product offering and customers, Outdoor Warehouse originally committed to offering the products across eight of its stores.
“The last few months has seen great interest in these products and resulting sales,” continues Kriel. Consequently, as at October this year, Outdoor Warehouse committed to a nationwide rollout. “The busy season is now upon us,” says Kriel. “With Summer holidays imminent and outdoor activities on the increase, we are confident that the Ecoboxx and WakaWaka will continue as a popular choice.”
Plans for 2015 include Outdoor Warehouse reviewing additional portable solar products, available from The Sungrid Group, for inclusion in its product range.