What are the choices for businesses? We can relocate or close down as the energy reliability, sustainability and viability decreases or we can accept the conditions and uncertainties in the hope that things will improve as the government solves problems. Another option is to investigate possibilities to address the instability of power and rising costs.

Currently the renewable energy industry with the focus on PV generation has grown dramatically in Africa and the private as well as public sector customers are being persuaded to invest in renewable energy.

From the public sector side, investment is being done into RPP’s to ensure power continuity and reliability for operations.

On the other hand private business are prepared to invest due to the prospective long term gains that can be achieved by comparing the foreseeable electricity price hikes compared to renewable generation costs.

Due to the various electricity challenges facing Africa and the development in technology during the last decade, renewable energy has become a clean, sustainable and affordable source of energy in Africa.

The solar industry is currently in such a good state of development that it allows a consumer to manage the rising cost of grid electricity.

Average tariff

According to The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) many Southern African nations suffer from unreliable power supply and the economic cost thereof is estimated at 5% to 7% of the gross domestic product (GDP).

IRENA further emphasises that Africa has great renewable energy potential, which could be used to provide much needed energy in an affordable and secure manner, and to contribute to universal access to modern energy while avoiding negative environmental impacts.

IRENA’s assessment shows that the share of renewable technologies in electricity production could increase from 10% to 46% in 2030, provided that the cost of these technologies continues to fall and fossil fuel process continues to rise.

Renewable energy is the light in the tunnel and can be seen as an opportunity not just to tackle the problem, but also make businesses more efficient, reliable and sustainable.