South Africa’s Rolling Blackouts Continue as Citizens Seek Off-Grid Electricity Solutions

By: | February 12th, 2015

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Eskom, South Africa’s state-owned utility company, is under serious fire due to an irregular power supply that has led to rolling blackouts for hours at time across the entire country.

As a result, many South Africans are seeking alternative electricity solutions in order to ensure lights will stay on in their homes so they can carry out daily activities as routinely as possible.

Due to Eskom’s poor maintenance of aging generators over the years, the company is now doing everything possible to avoid a total system collapse, something very likely if not for the daily controlled power cuts currently taking place and continuing to happen for the next few months.

The daily power cuts are a part of the utility company’s “load shedding” program, as it finally attempts to build new power plants and upgrade 27 outdated plants that contribute to the problem.

Eskom, responsible for 95 percent of the country’s 30,000-megawatts electricity demand between citizens and businesses, has severely frustrated many South Africans who are utilizing sources of renewable and non-renewable energy such as solar panels and backup diesel generators in order to compensate for the lack of power.

Of course, this incredibly high demand for off-grid electricity solutions has led directly to booming business for solar companies in South Africa who are taking advantage of the situation and seeing sales skyrocket.

Rayn Beech, a resident of an affluent Johannesburg suburb, Parkhurst, said, “We are currently looking at all the technology out there from hydro to solar to wind. We are doing feasibility studies, looking at all possibilities. It is effectively going to be a game-changer for the country and other neighborhoods will also follow.”

Marshall Smith

Technology, engineering, and design enthusiast.

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