The massive appetite in South Africa for solar energy is reflected in the escalating imports of solar panels, with R16.9 billion having been landed in just the first nine months of 2023.
In 2022 the country imported R5.6bn worth of solar panels.
This is according to the senior economist of Trade and Industrial Policy Strategies, an independent non-profit economic research institution, Gaylor Montmasson-Clair, who posted it on a social media site this week.
South Africa is seeing sustained demand for solar panels, inverters and batteries as the country battles the worst sustained load-shedding yet this year. This has forced business, industry and households to adapt to an inconsistent energy supply, with many opting for a solar alternative.
Apart from providing a solution, it had also spawned local business opportunities, with a local solar panel manufacturing and installation sector taking hold, she said.
Since 2010 South Africa has imported R35bn worth of solar panels. These imports were initially supported by government investment into renewables, but are now primarily supported by private investment.
Source: Daily Investor