South Africa's rooftop pv installations doubled, and energy storage installation exploded!

Aug 17, 2023

Despite ongoing blackouts, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa has embarked on part of the Energy Action Plan, including doubling rooftop solar capacity.


The President’s weekly newsletter is released in tandem with the Energy Action Plan’s one-year progress report, which covers progress across the plan’s main goals, including: repairing and improving the availability of existing electricity of Eskom; enabling and accelerating private investment; fast tracking the procurement of new power capacity and storage capacity; unlocking investment in rooftop for solar businesses and households and transforming the power sector for long-term energy security.


"The use of rooftop solar by homes and businesses is one of the most important contributions to the Energy Action Plan."


Rooftop solar capacity in South Africa has grown to more than 4,000MW, doubling from a year ago, the report noted.


"New tax incentives and innovative financing mechanisms are helping to drive a boom in rooftop solar, dramatically reducing outage rates."


The report also highlights regulatory reforms implemented under the Energy Action Plan, which it argues have opened up space for private investment in large-scale power projects for the first time.


"Hundreds of projects are now being developed across the country without any government funding. These projects will make the biggest difference in ending power outages while also helping South Africa switch to cheaper and greener energy sources."


The president reiterated that such projects have now reached 10,000MW and said some of them will be connected to the grid by the end of the year.


Ramaphosa also highlighted interventions to boost the performance of Eskom's fleet, writing that unplanned losses had fallen to below 16,000MW in the past two months from more than 18,000MW previously.


Ramaphosa also said that the ongoing restoration of service projects at Kusile and Medupi power stations will add 3,000MW of generation capacity by the end of the year.


Despite significant delays in public procurement of new electricity capacity, both the President and the report agree that South Africa is making progress in procuring new renewable and natural gas generation equipment, as well as battery storage.


Ramaphosa also wrote that Eskom has released nearly 400MW from companies with additional capacity available, with another 600MW currently in the contracting process.

"We have procured an additional 400MW from Cahora Bassa in Mozambique"

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