Many households suffering blackouts have little sympathy as they face a further 12.69% rise in electricity prices next year.
In addition to the 8% increase in electricity tariffs by Eskom over the last two years, a further increase of 12.69% was recently announced for 2015. This increase will come into effect on 1 April 2015 for Eskom’s direct customers, with municipal customers to follow from 1 July.
“This is placing enormous pressure on already cash strapped consumers and businesses around the country,” says Ryan Steytler, Director, The Sungrid Group. It is becoming increasingly urgent that alternative solutions to the pressing energy crisis be explored.
“The use of portable solar power is an obvious answer,” says Steytler. It brings with it the ability to harness the sun’s energy, but most importantly the capability of making it easily accessible to all.
By converting sunlight into readily accessible portable solar power products, such as Ecoboxx and WakaWaka, cost-effective, safe, reliable and environmentally friendly solar electricity solutions are being made available to the local consumer. “This brings with it not only a safeguard from load shedding and power cuts, but relief to the consumer in the face of never-ending electricity price hikes,” concludes Steytler.
Early November once again saw South Africa at the mercy of Eskom load shedding and an interrupted power supply. Predicted at the time to be the worst load shedding since 2008, with the impact on South African business and lifestyle becoming increasingly dire, members of the media turned to our very own energy expert, Ryan Steytler, for his views and comments on what can and should be done.
We were proud to have Ryan represent The Sungrid Group across both local community radio as well as the SABC’s national network.
To listen to one of Ryan’s interviews first-hand, we invite you to click on the link below:
CliffCentral, Candid Business Show
Monday, 3 November 2014
with Ellis Mnyandu (editor, Business Report) and Ryan Steytler
A growing number of enterprises are tapping the under-utilised source of sunshine to keep their businesses running and to meet the surging demand for electricity.
Eskom has implemented load shedding after announcing the country’s power system will be “severely constrained” for the next week following damage to a coal storage silo at the Majuba power station.
The coal silo that collapsed at Eskom’s Majuba power plant was inspected in September last year, with there being no apparent signs of future failure, Eskom CEO Tshediso Matona says.
Black River Park, our home away from home and one of the Western Cape’s largest office park developments, is leading the way in the use of sustainable energy for commercial office buildings.
Set to become the largest integrated photovoltaic plant in Africa, it will also be the first to legally transmit electricity back into the city’s electrical distribution network.
“As strong advocates for the use of solar power, it is great to work in an office park which supports the same objective and values as us. We are both thrilled and proud to have our office situated in Black River Park,” says Ryan Steytler, Director, Sungrid Group.
It is exciting times for the world of solar, with the gathering of great momentum in both the interest and use of this renewable energy source. Recent developments, over and above the solar project at our very own Black River Park, saw the Northern Cape receive a R 1.5bn solar energy boost expected to contribute significantly to the country’s rising energy demands.
Built on a 100-hectar site with more than 165,000 solar photovoltaic (PV) panels in operation, it will supply the Eskom 132 kV gridline and generate approximately 85 458 MW per year – more than enough to supply power to approximately 19,000 average homes per year. Heralded as one of the first large solar farms in the country to be built by an independent power producer, the knock-on effect for the local community has seen as many as 500 jobs created during the peak of its construction.
“We firmly believe that solar is the way of the future,” comments Ryan Steytler, Director, The Sungrid Group. “Not only does it provide a cost-effective, sustainable and environmentally friendly alternative to conventional methods, but as importantly it provides a viable solution for Africa’s pressing energy problems and seemingly never-ending price hikes.”
In addition to the 8% increase in electricity tariffs by Eskom over the last two years, earlier this year saw the announcement of a further 2 – 5% increase approved for the next year. This is placing enormous pressure on already cash strapped consumers and businesses around the country.
“It is becoming increasingly clear, and urgent, that alternative solutions to our pressing energy crisis be explored,” concludes Steytler.
Exciting news from Sir Richard Branson. A world renowned entrepreneur and maverick, with a flair all of his own, Sir Richard seems to have a finger in most pies – from airlines to mobile to health clubs.
But latest news sees this English business magnate venturing into the realm of solar power.
Over and above his own research, which involves looking at ways in which to harness solar power to tow aircraft on the runway, Sir Richard is also the proud patron for the Solar Impulse Project – the first solar plane able to fly day and night without a single drop of fuel!
With successful test flights already behind them, Solar Impulse 2 will attempt the very first around the world solar flight in 2015.
As ambitious entrepreneurs, passionate about renewable energy, we salute Sir Richard and the Solar Impulse team and look forward to watching it literally take off.
For more information, please visit http://www.solarimpulse.com