South Africa solar power programmes – Ed Hill – Specialised Solar Systems


Published on

Presentation by Ed Hill of Specialised Solar Systems at the CHOICES project community energy workshops in Somerset East, Pearston and Cookhouse communities, Blue Crane Route Municipality in South Africa’s Eastern Cape, held in February and March 2013.

The presentation describes South Africa’s solar power programmes and policies.

More information about Specialised Solar Systems:

Further details of the CHOICES project:

Published in: Government & Nonprofit
  • Be the first to comment

  • Be the first to like this

No Downloads
Total views
On SlideShare
From Embeds
Number of Embeds
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide

South Africa solar power programmes – Ed Hill – Specialised Solar Systems

  2. 2. THE CHALLENGE  One of the objectives of the new government in 1994 was to provide basic services, including electricity, to all households in South Africa.  In 1998, 51% of rural households were still without electricity and the National Electrification Programme (NEP) was extended to include Solar Home Systems (SHS).  A joint venture was set up between ESKOM and Shell in 1998 to roll out the SHS programme.
  3. 3. ESKOM-SHELL JOINT VENTURE  Launched February 1999.  To supply, on a commercial basis within 5 years, 50,000 Solar Home Systems (SHS) to rural communities where the grid is unlikely to reach in the near future.  6 000 systems installed by March 2000, then period for evaluation.  ESJV ended operations in 2004.
  4. 4.  SHS Programme taken over by Department of Energy in 2001 in terms of Integrated National Electrification Programme (INEP).  Supply of SHS to rural areas of provinces awarded by tender to 6 new Concessionaires in 2001.  Target increased to 300 000 SHS systems by 2012.  46 000 systems installed by 2010.  Only 3 Concessionaires still operating. SHS CONCESSIONAIRE PROGRAMME
  5. 5.  A number of policy guideline documents have been drafted by DoE with respect to extension of both grid and non-grid electrification;  These have been introduced over a period of 10 years – 2003 to 2012;  Clarity is still being sought from DoE on some aspects;  Since the electricity supply crisis of 2007-2008, ESKOM has introduced several energy efficiency programmes;  The following is a summary of policy guidelines relating to non-grid electrification. SHS CONCESSIONAIRE PROGRAMME
  6. 6.  In 2000, the government decided to provide Free Basic Electricity (FBE) for poor households;  This included rural households using SHS, as can be seen in the FBE Policy (2003);  The FBE funding is paid by National Treasury to municipalities as part of the Equitable Share provision. FREE BASIC ELECTRICITY POLICY
  7. 7.  Consumers connected to non-grid systems installed through the NEP receive a subsidy of up to 80% (or R48 per month per connection in 2002 Rands) of the monthly service fee to provide access to non-grid system;  This amount will be revised from time to time.  In respect of non-grid electricity, free basic electricity provision is intended to facilitate the provision of basic lighting and basic media access. FREE BASIC ELECTRICITY POLICY
  8. 8. o Introduced some time after FBE Policy of 2003; o Excludes solar power and grid electricity; o Subsidies via Municipalities for Paraffin, LPG Gas, Coal & Bio-Ethanol; o Intended for indigent households only; o Municipalities are responsible to identify beneficiaries. FREE BASIC ALTERNATIVE ENERGY POLICY
  9. 9. “The FBAE programme must commence in areas: o most distant from the grid electricity; o where no Solar Home System Programme is planned; o where there are no immediate plans to electrify the area; and/ or o where energy poverty is prevalent”. FREE BASIC ALTERNATIVE ENERGY POLICY
  10. 10. Municipalities need to ‘carefully consider’ the following: o the energy carrier must be safe and environmentally friendly; o supply channels must be available or easily be established within the jurisdiction of the Municipality; o the energy carrier must be affordable to the Municipality; o the energy carrier must be sustainable; o provision of such an energy carrier must create job opportunities for local people where possible. FREE BASIC ALTERNATIVE ENERGY POLICY
  11. 11. o In line with national government support to its (poverty alleviation) programme, funds are already allocated to Municipalities for this programme through the Equitable Share grant disbursed by dplg to local government. o These funds are classified as Free Basic Electricity/Energy; where no electricity infrastructure exists, these funds must be channeled to fund FBAE. o Municipalities are encouraged to supplement the FBE grant from their own income in ensuring that indigent households receive the FBAE. FREE BASIC ALTERNATIVE ENERGY POLICY
  12. 12. OTHER NON-GRID ELECTRIFICATION POLICIES “Electrification of Farm Dweller Houses” (2010):  There are two types of supply, either the grid supply or the non-grid supply;  The non-grid method will be subsidized at a maximum equal to the subsidy applicable in that particular year of supply;  Either the farm owner or the local licensed entity initiates the electrification of the farm dweller houses with requests from the farm workers;  In Eskom’s area of supply, the approval of applications by Eskom will be in consultation with the local municipality.
  13. 13. OTHER NON-GRID ELECTRIFICATION POLICIES “Schools and Clinics Electrification” (2010):  There are two types of supply, either the grid supply or the non-grid supply;  Capital expenditure includes: 6.3.1 Non-grid: Stand-alone energy supplies that will satisfy the needs of schools and clinics;  Payment for the monthly consumption of non-grid electrified schools and clinics does not apply, but a service fee is payable by the Departments of Health & Basic Education to provide for the maintenance of the systems.
  14. 14. OTHER NON-GRID ELECTRIFICATION POLICIES “Schools and Clinics Electrification” (2010):  Local Government and the responsible Departments of Basic Education and/or Health will be jointly responsible for selecting, prioritising and approving the schools' and clinics' electrification plans;  Only public schools & clinics not previously electrified will qualify for electrification funding from the INEP funding;  Local Government shall integrate the electrification of schools and clinics into the respective Integrated Development Plans (IDPs).
  15. 15. OTHER NON-GRID ELECTRIFICATION POLICIES “ESKOM Small-Scale Renewable Energy Pilot Programme” (2012): • Part of ESKOM IDM ’Standard Offer’ programme (complex process); • Grid-tie inverter solar systems, biogas, wind-turbine, etc.; • System capacity between 100kW and 1MW (1 000kW); • Where relevant a letter from the relevant local authority / electricity utility will be required as part of the application to confirm their knowledge and acceptance of the (proposed/designed) connection onto the network; • ESKOM will pay 90c/kWh proven reduction in grid consumption for 3 years.
  16. 16. NON-GRID ELECTRIFICATION POLICY GUIDELINES  “Universal household access to electricity is one of the cornerstones of the White Paper on Energy Policy. The connections made during the electrification programme (1994 – to date), were mainly in the urban areas.  The low load demand, the dispersed nature of rural settlements, and the high fixed costs of grid extensions makes it unlikely that grid will reach most (rural) areas in the medium term”.
  17. 17. NON-GRID ELECTRIFICATION POLICY GUIDELINES  “The non grid Solar Home Systems (SHS) have been identified as a suitable temporary alternative to grid electricity;  The SHS offers both a technologically and viable alternative, providing basic electricity for essential services such as quality lighting and access to the electronic media to the rural consumer”;  The solar home systems must satisfy the specification NRS 052 photovoltaic systems for use in individual homes.
  18. 18. NON-GRID ELECTRIFICATION POLICY GUIDELINES  “To fast track service delivery and meet the universal access target, the Department is now looking to roll out the non-grid electrification programme to other areas that fall outside of the concession areas.  This roll-out can be initiated and facilitated by Municipalities making applications for non-grid electrification in their respective areas to the Department. The Department will appoint service providers to provide non- grid to the Provinces that do not have concessionaires”.
  19. 19. NON-GRID ELECTRIFICATION POLICY GUIDELINES Criteria:  The lowest capacity grid supply cannot be supplied within the capital expenditure limit;  Non-grid systems should not be installed within 2km from a grid line;  Consider future grid electrification plans. The area falls outside of the 3 year grid plan;  The identified areas must be included in the Municipal IDP;  Eskom or licensed distributor in that area must confirm areas would not receive grid electricity in the foreseeable future and grant permission for non-grid electrification”.
  20. 20. NON-GRID ELECTRIFICATION POLICY GUIDELINES  “The Department will subsidize the provision of non-grid solar home systems;  Only 80% of the total capital cost of the system will be subsidized. The service provider will pay the remaining 20% of the capital cost.  According to the FBE policy, consumers to non-grid systems, installed through the INEP will receive a subsidy of up to 80% (or R48.00 per month) of the monthly service fee to provide access to non-grid systems”.
  21. 21. NON-GRID ELECTRIFICATION POLICY GUIDELINES  “The implementation of FBE is the responsibility of the Municipality, making sure that poor households benefit from the subsidy.  The provision of FBE is informed by the indigent policy of the respective Municipality.  Municipalities therefore need to pay the FBE, as set out on the FBE policy, for the qualifying beneficiaries thus making sure that electricity is affordable and really benefits the poor”.
  22. 22. NON-GRID ELECTRIFICATION POLICY GUIDELINES “Community Awareness & Education:  There should be information sharing and sensitization of local communities;  Customers must be educated on how the system works and how to use it;  End-users/ customers must be trained on system operations and minor troubleshooting;  End-users should be made aware that when grid encroaches, the solar home systems will be removed and installed in other needy areas”.
  23. 23. 2010 PRESENTATION BY DR WOLSEY BARNARD, DoE  “From 1994 to 2010 about 3 000 schools were electrified with non-grid technology, while 345 clinics in rural areas were supplied with non-grid;  Currently 76% of all households electrified - backlog of 3.4 million households;  Annual subsidy ensures about 200 000 connections per year (190 000 grid and 10 000 non-grid);  Non-grid electrification programmes will in future not only be implemented in concessionary areas, but on a limited basis in other areas in the country that qualify for non-grid roll-out”.
  24. 24. SOLAR POWER IN AFRICA  Specialized Solar Systems (SSS) is a wholly South African firm which has been designing and assembling and upgrading its own SHS, the DC Microgrid system, since 2009;  Having studied the failings of existing SHS programmes, SSS has devised a model of implementation which can overcome these shortcomings;  SSS is working in collaboration with, amongst others, the Sustainability Institute in Stellenbosch, to constantly improve its hardware, software and implementation model.
  25. 25. A SPECIALIZED SOLAR SYSTEMS PRESENTATION. Presented by Ed Hill For further enquiries please contact us: Tel: +27(0)44 878 1126 Web: Email: