Increasing electricity tariffs and ongoing load shedding have raised a lot of interest from private-sector clients looking to guarantee their energy security independent of electricity utility Eskom. Newly-appointed Energy Unit Leader at Zutari, Janice Foster, who took up the role in November 2020, notes that coupled with the global move towards ‘green’ energy, much of this interest is in renewable energy. For example she cites the recent announcement by Stellenbosch that it is investigating alternative energy sources to mitigate the impact of load shedding in the city.

Following Eskom’s statement that load shedding is likely to be with us for the rest of the year and possibly beyond that – due to inadequate generation capacity to meet demand and an aging generation fleet which makes the system vulnerable – Barry Bredenkamp of SANEDI (the South African National Energy Development Institute), highlights that there are steps which every electricity user can and should take to decrease demand for electricity and thereby reduce the risk of load shedding.

A comprehensive new study by the International Energy Agency (IEA) Photovoltaic Power Systems (PVPS) Technology Collaboration Programme presents key information on the energy yield of photovoltaic (PV) modules and systems in different climatic zones worldwide. Field and laboratory data from TÜV Rheinland provided a foundation for the study. The globally active testing service provider tested different PV module technologies in its own laboratories for the publication, and measured and compared module yields over several years at five locations on four continents. In addition, various research institutes from around the world collaborated on the study by the IEA PVPS Task 13 Working Group and supplied data. Experts from TÜV Rheinland coordinated the international team.

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