World Added More Solar, Wind Than Anything Else Last Year

    For the first time ever, solar and wind made up the majority of the world’s new power generation — marking a seismic shift in how nations get their electricity. Solar additions last year totaled 119 gigawatts, representing 45% of all new capacity, according to a report Tuesday by BloombergNEF. Together, solar and wind accounted for more than two-thirds of the additions. That’s up from less than a quarter in 2010. The surge comes as countries move to slash carbon emissions and as technology costs fall. “That is a big deal,” said…

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Manufacturing sector invests in solar to supplement energy needs

With electricity costs increasing, solar energy efficiency for businesses is a low-risk investment, yielding substantial rewards, particularly for high day-time energy users. Manufacturing companies like South Africa’s Sheffield Manufacturing in Durban, are increasingly turning to solar as a way to supplement energy needs, go green and bring costs down, says Lance Green of SolarSaver, a provider of customised rooftop solar photovoltaic solutions through a unique rent-to-own model. SolarSaver has just completed a 130 kW grid-tied solar photovoltaic (PV) system with 330 solar panels at Sheffield Manufacturing, a producer of multiple ranges…

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Tax breaks for South Africans who install solar power systems

  South Africa’s government, energy regulator and Eskom have often been criticised for obstructing the introduction of distributed, small-scale embedded generation (SSEG) which would help businesses to cut costs and ensure the stability of their power supply during load shedding. But in fact, there are significant and far-sighted tax breaks which have been put in place by National Treasury to encourage and incentivise business owners to install their own generation in the form of grid-tied, rooftop or ground-mounted solar PV systems on buildings, parking lots, warehouses, factories, and farms. Accelerated…

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.Solar and mobile technology will fuel Africa’s future economy

  Backyard industrialisation has been tried; it was a miserable failure. During the so-called Great Leap Forward in China under Mao Zedong, peasants were encouraged to erect steel furnaces in their back yards. Predictably, most people had no idea how to build a mini steel plant much less make steel, and there was no market for their wares. The result was economic disaster. But you don’t have to invoke Mao to see that most production tends to be centralised. Manufacturing tends to cluster in factory towns, and these towns are…

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