The government and regulator are preventing farmers from using solar power

Jamie McKane

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elf_lord_ZC5

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Typical beaurocrats - none more idiotic than the Africa specie ...

Also, they probably do not have the money to pay the farmers for their contribution to lighting the load on Eskom, and giving them ( Eskom ) a fighting chance of recovery.
 

Zoomzoom

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misleading heading.

government and regulators are not preventing farmers from using Solar power but just preventing them from selling it to the grid.

Big fcking difference.
The entire POINT is to SELL it, otherwise how on earth would it help prevent loadshedding.

I remember years ago like more than 30 there were a lot of developments being mooted that would have solar and sell excess power back into the grid. Half the country could be running on renewables by now, but none of those ever came to fruition due to stupidly short-sighted regulations. ESKOM needs more power from somewhere, and refusing to allow small to medium solar farms to spring up is beyond short-sighted. It is inhibiting people from investing in one of the fastest growing sectors in the world - solar is overtaking in every part of the world, and it is failing in its obligation to supply power to the nation at a reasonable price.
 

deweyzeph

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I don't understand why they have to tie it to the grid to use their own electricity? Why not just cut themselves off the grid completely and just use it directly?
 

Sinbad

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I don't understand why they have to tie it to the grid to use their own electricity? Why not just cut themselves off the grid completely and just use it directly?
Because the cost of storage of electricity is still wildly expensive. The grid can be a cheap battery.
 

deweyzeph

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Because the cost of storage of electricity is still wildly expensive. The grid can be a cheap battery.
Sure, but if farmers want to get rid of Eskom and power their own farms with their own solar panels then they have to cut themselves off the grid and be completely independent. Buying batteries are a small price to pay for complete independence from Eskom.
 

evilstebunny

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Tipies dat hulle alweer verwag die boere moet fix wat die regering gebreek het..

English: Bitch please, go vote for someone else than the ANC..
 

Swa

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The entire POINT is to SELL it, otherwise how on earth would it help prevent loadshedding.

I remember years ago like more than 30 there were a lot of developments being mooted that would have solar and sell excess power back into the grid. Half the country could be running on renewables by now, but none of those ever came to fruition due to stupidly short-sighted regulations. ESKOM needs more power from somewhere, and refusing to allow small to medium solar farms to spring up is beyond short-sighted. It is inhibiting people from investing in one of the fastest growing sectors in the world - solar is overtaking in every part of the world, and it is failing in its obligation to supply power to the nation at a reasonable price.
The point is that the heading is inaccurate. But we all know the situation with IPPs so that won't sell clicks. Also solar can help prevent load shedding for the farmers who have it.
 

Gordon_R

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ISP cash cow

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The entire POINT is to SELL it, otherwise how on earth would it help prevent loadshedding.

I remember years ago like more than 30 there were a lot of developments being mooted that would have solar and sell excess power back into the grid. Half the country could be running on renewables by now, but none of those ever came to fruition due to stupidly short-sighted regulations. ESKOM needs more power from somewhere, and refusing to allow small to medium solar farms to spring up is beyond short-sighted. It is inhibiting people from investing in one of the fastest growing sectors in the world - solar is overtaking in every part of the world, and it is failing in its obligation to supply power to the nation at a reasonable price.
I have no question that our government are screwing up the IPP market and could potentially create jobs just by allowing people to sell back to the grid, and in the same token alleviate some of the burden of load shedding.

However the article heading is completely misleading. Farmers can use solar for themselves to ease the burden of loadshedding as well cheapen their overhead for electricity,rhe regulators and government are not preventing them from doing this. All they are doing is preventing IPP (which the farmers would become if they over capitalised on their system wanting to make a profit by tying into the grid to make a profit or create a credit based system.
 

deweyzeph

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Interestingly, Helen Zille just wrote an article on Daily Maverick stating that the solution to the above-mentioned requires just 4 signatures, but we all know there's no political will to do so. See https://www.dailymaverick.co.za/opinionista/2019-04-15-from-the-inside-we-are-but-four-signatures-away-from-a-permanent-solution-to-the-energy-crisis/ for more info.
I wonder what would happen if the Western Cape just unilaterally decided to side-step national regulations and allow the privatisation of electricity at a municipal and provincial level.
 

Pythonista

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To be fair, basing a business plan upon an unlikely government decision AND then actually putting in money and infrastructure is plain dumb. They knew beforehand that nothing was going to happen quickly. And we know that the labour unions do NOT favour people selling back to the grid as it "weakens the so-called Eskom workforce and they believe it will amount to job losses.
 

Happy Days

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I wonder what would happen if the Western Cape just unilaterally decided to side-step national regulations and allow the privatisation of electricity at a municipal and provincial level.
The issue is that WC is still bound by rules and laws to prevent exactly that - hence the pending court case. Read somewhere recently, that WC has sufficient generating capacity to be self-sustainable if disconnected from the other provinces. This is also one of the reasons that WC wants to self-provision, reduces the dependence on Eskom.
 

Zoomzoom

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The issue is that WC is still bound by rules and laws to prevent exactly that - hence the pending court case. Read somewhere recently, that WC has sufficient generating capacity to be self-sustainable if disconnected from the other provinces. This is also one of the reasons that WC wants to self-provision, reduces the dependence on Eskom.
Unless someone is aware of power generating capacity that the government doesn't someone can't add. There is a chart somewhere with all the stats on it of energy production, demand etc and what WC draws from Eskom over and above their own generating capacity and there is a considerable shortfall in their generating capacity.

Please go use Google and find it yourself - I've got terrible sinus and just don't want to do it. For once let your fingers do the walking.
 

alanB

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At one point Eskom did promote this idea, because transmitting power to remote areas is expensive, so the idea was that if farmers installed grid tied solar plants in those remote areas, which would generate power during the day when the sun was up, then Eskom would allow those farmers to be credited with the power generated that was fed into the grid.

This supposedly benefited both Eskom, which did not then have to transmit as much power to those remote areas, as well as obviously benefiting the farmers generating power.

Another reason why these solar installations need to be grid tied is that these farms are large with an existing Eskom network of pylons/lines etc which feed power to the various parts of the farm, which includes transformers etc. That infrastructure belongs to Eskom. It would be prohibitively expensive for farmers to set up their own infrastructure. So even to use the power they generate themselves, farmers would probably need to use the existing grid.
 

rodmur

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The government and regulator are preventing farmers from using solar power

Small-scale solar plans around South Africa can save farmers thousands in electricity costs and even help to prevent load-shedding, but the government and NERSA are having none of it.

Carte Blanche reported that farmers have the land and the incentive to install small-scale solar farms, which can cover most of their electricity needs.
They should have done the paperwork first before spending the $$$
 
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