Is solar the light at the end of the tunnel for SA’s energy crisis?

Cape Town – With doom and gloom dominating conversations on the energy crisis, representatives from local solar energy companies, climate finance platforms and the government gathered to discuss how this crisis could be used to harness South Africa’s potential to become one of the biggest producers of energy in the world.

Representatives also delved into how the solar power industry was coping with the rapid increase in demand being experienced in Cape Town, and the knock-on effects that harnessing solar power, amid the energy crisis, could have on job creation, the environment and growth in other sectors.

A panel discussion on these matters was held with DA spokesperson on energy Kevin Mileham; Tyger Geldenhuis, CEO of local solar PV company Trust Solar; Adrian Won, founder of Senken, the climate finance trading platform of on-chain carbon credits; Ahren Posthumus, the CEO of local tech start-up Momint and SunCash.

The event was moderated by Kieno Kammies, co-founder of Innovation City, which played host to the platform where solutions to challenges society faces today could be shared.

All panellists believe that there is enough solar potential in SA to power the world, if only they could build the infrastructure for the required storage facilities and create the right regulatory environment.

Local tech start-up MOMINT hosted a panel discussion on solar energy at Innovation City in Cape Town on Wednesday which included Senken founder Adrian Won, Trust Solar CEO Tyger Geldenhuis, DA spokesperson on mineral resources and energy Kevin Mileham and Momint CEO Ahren Posthumus at Innovation City in Cape Town. Picture: Kristin Engel/Cape Argus
On the challenges with local solar uptake, Geldenhuis said: “There’s a lot of red tape we have to go through; it can take months before we get approvals to feed into the grid from factories.”

Posthumus said Momint had developed the SunCash initiative, seeking to solve South Africa’s energy crisis by making investment into solar power accessible to all South Africans, through the use of advanced and secure blockchain technology.

“You can now purchase solar cells for as low as R150 and sell that solar energy to public institutions through an automated transaction. Earn a passive income and help us keep South Africa’s lights on,” Posthumus said.

Also in attendance was MP Traverse Le Goff, member of the parliamentary portfolio committee for mineral resources and energy, who believed that as a legislator, South Africa was on the cusp of a renewable energy revolution, with no lack of enthusiasm from the private sector.

“Thanks to our abundance of sunlight, the evidence suggests that if we create the right regulatory environment for it, South Africa really can lead the world on solar power, we can consign load shedding to history, and we can also create many millions of good-paying green jobs which do not presently exist in the process,” Le Goff said.

Source: Cape Argus