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Thursday, 14 July 2016 09:31


In May 2016 Germany broke a renewable energy record when 95% of the national power demands were

met by renewable energy resources and power prices went negative for a few hours. With approximately 2 500 hours

of sunshine per year - among the highest in the world – South Africa has great potential for an energy

revolution of its own and a similar capacity with regards to alternative energy generation.

This is according to Cala van der Westhuizen, Head of Marketing and Sales for Energy Partners – a leading energy

solutions provider in the country, who says that approximately 95% percent of South Africa’s energy still comes

from a single, state-owned utility, while the transition towards renewable energy resources remains slow and

small-scale. “With the Government leaning towards investing in a nuclear power plant rather than alternative

energy solutions, the onus of our energy transition will fall into the spheres of the private and residential


Van der Westhuizen explains that while businesses will often require a customised approach in order to optimise

energy usage, a simple, three pronged approach can be implemented on a large scale in households across the


•         The first step is efficient technology: All inefficient technology such as old geysers and lights must

be replaced with the most efficient water-heating and lighting technology.
•         Secondly, self-generation of energy is required: Installing solar photo-voltaic (PV) panels on the

roof of the residence will enable home owners to generate electricity at a lower cost than that of purchasing

energy from Eskom.
•         The final and most important step in this process is effective energy storage: Adding batteries and

other storage mechanisms such as oversized water tanks, ensures that the generated energy is not wasted. Solar

generated energy can thus be utilised during peak-times when the sun is not necessarily shining, such as in the

evenings between 17:00 and 20:00.

The implementation of these three steps can save a household between 50 and 75% off their existing energy bill,

says van der Westhuizen. “A wider roll-out of these holistic systems is also the first step toward an energy

revolution and will alleviate the overwhelming pressure that currently rests on the national energy supplier.”
“It is distressing that a country so rich in sunshine and wind has been staring down the barrel hole of an

energy crises for several years. Perhaps it is time for the private and residential sectors to take power into

their own hands and to drive South Africa’s energy revolution,” concludes van der Westhuizen.

About Energy Partners
Founded in 2008, Energy Partners is a leading energy solutions provider in South Africa that provides clients

with innovative solutions (including fully outsourced supply contracts – e.g. steam generation) to suit their

needs. Energy Partners has built a high quality team of talented individuals and robust processes which offer

end-to-end solutions and integrate the different components of energy optimisation to deliver optimum results –

including capital solutions that put clients in a positive cash flow positions from day one. Industries in which

Energy Partners specialise include: food retail, retail, healthcare, hospitality, food processing and logistics.

For more information visit www.energypartners.co.za

GIL Africa 2017