by Www.Thesolarfuture.Co.Za

Solar Future SA conference

Finding energy solutions

The Solar Future SA conference takes place at the Cape Town International Convention Centre on 12 February.
Solar Future South Africa conference

How solar energy can help SA companies overcome financial implications of future price hikes was discussed yesterday (12 February) at the Solar Future South Africa conference at the CTICC.

Solar energy can help South African companies overcome financial implications of future price hikes.

Particularly medium-size businesses can benefit.

However, in order for sun-generated energy to become mainstream among the private sector, the solar industry has to start marketing it as a practical need-to-have solution instead of a green, nice-to-have solution.

"Solar energy is a good solution for South Africa's private sector. It is cheaper than the diesel plants and generators that are often used as a substitute to conventional coal-generated power. However, it is still more expensive than Eskom's electricity," says Graeme Chown, executive director at energy management consultancy firm PPA Energy South Africa.

This scenario is set to change, he adds: "Solar panel prices in South Africa are dropping at around 10% per annum, which is pretty much on par with the rest of the world. We predict it will take three to five years for solar electricity to be cheaper than normal power, especially when Eskom is granted its 16% increase per year."

Apart from addressing issues that deal with the potential of solar for the private sector and how it should be marketed, the 2013 Solar Future South Africa is gave insight in the reasons why South Africa is such a great solar location, how global solar developments impact the cost of solar energy in South Africa, the position of solar in Eskom's future energy mix, and what it takes to develop a large PV solar plant.

Besides Chown, Rice, Romano and Berlijn, the line-up included Eskom's General Manager for electricity planning and market development, Callie Fabricius; international solar PV guru Jigar Shah; Investment Banker, Bhavtik Vallabhjee; the National Treasury's Karen Breytenbach as well as various representatives from the department of energy and leading energy contractors and developers from around the globe.     

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