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