South Africa to overcome load-shedding by leveraging solar energy

South Africa to overcome load-shedding by leveraging solar energy

Nolwazi Zulu, a young engineer from rural Kwazulu-Natal on the eastern coast of South Africa, has stated that at a very young age, she decided to do something about the constant power cuts that have bedeviled the community.

Like the rest of the country, her own home province has faced frequent blackouts, known as "load-shedding," since 2008.

This has been triggered owing to South Africa's state-owned power grid, aging, and precisely due to its coal-fueled power stations, which were struggling to keep up with the demand.

In view of boosting the nation's environmental credentials and overcoming the challenge, the South African government is now attempting to enhance the solar-power generation amount in the country. For doing so, it is motivating firms in the sector to tender for contracts.

At present, it looks forward to securing an added 1,000 megawatts from solar power, which can suffice the need to offer electricity to around one million homes in the country.

This is in addition to increasing the onshore wind power generation by 1,600 megawatts.

One firm that has earned the solar bids is Art (African Renewable Technology) Solar, one of the leading and only South African-based solar panel manufacturers.

Ms. Zulu pursuing a diploma in electrical power engineering from the Durban University of Technology works at ART solar in the design team.

Zulu stated that she wishes to open an Art Solar branch in Ulundi (her hometown) and bring solar to the village.

She further noted that solar is less expensive and better than load-shedding as well as will help change many lives across the nation.

Apart from assisting the national power grid, Zulu believes that solar panels can offer power to many rural homes that are not linked to the mains.

For the record, only 11% of South Africa's power is generated from renewables and mostly wind. However, only 0.9% of power comes from solar in a nation that gets eight to 10 hours of sun every day, compared to the U.K.'s four.

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