SA mulls giving credits for solar power

Due to the reduced cost of the rooftop Photovoltaic (PV) installations and the levelised cost of electricity of these systems reaching parity with the domestic and commercial tariffs, there is growing interest from South African electricity consumers to install rooftop PV systems in order to reduce their electricity bill and supplement their consumption. South Africa’s energy regulator is looking at developing a framework that would enable homes and business with installed rooftop PV systems to receive credits for feeding surplus power generated into the electricity grid.

The introduction of such a plan means South Africa, whose sole power utility is struggling to meet demand in the continent’s second-biggest economy, would be emulating countries such as Germany, Spain and the US, which have had small-scale renewable generation that included feed-in tariffs or credit programmes through banks. “Their governments also securitised the tariff by government guarantees, which is something that the South African government cannot engage in at this stage with so many programmes where guarantees are currently offered,” the paper said.

The Centre for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) has identified some views and concerned by various stakeholders regarding rooftop PV development.

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Draft Discussion document on Small Scale Renewable Generation- Regulatory Framework for Distributions.3812152014101203