There are news articles making their rounds about the escape route that many large businesses, including Shoprite Holdings and SA Breweries are taking to get ‘off the grid’ amid ongoing issues at Eskom, not to mention the many small businesses making the same decisions. With promises of continued loadshedding and rumours of prolonged periods of loadshedding taking place in the coming year due to certain repairs that need to take place at various power plants, these businesses are thinking forward to the longevity and efficiency of their operations and solar is playing a massive part in those plans.
What are the negative impacts of loadshedding on businesses?
There are many negatives to the loadshedding crisis that can be felt by businesses and residents alike, some of these are direct and others can be felt over the long term but there is no denying the negative effects of loadshedding on South African. Some of the effects for businesses include:
- Damaged business networks and equipment due to power surges
- Loss of productivity due to lost hours, affecting all industries
- Loss of profit caused by the loss of productivity
- Increased costs due to the use of generators which rely on petrol with prices constantly on the rise
- Increased risks of theft due to alarms and close circuit cameras are rendered useless when companies do not have alternative power sources
- Long term, the loss of production and profit can result in retrenchments and further unemployment or ultimately businesses closing down which further negatively affects the economy
Why are so many opting for solar as the alternative?
When it comes to alternative, sustainable and renewable energy sources, solar is the most cost effective and most likely option for many businesess and South Africa’s higher-than-average solar radiation levels make it the perfect alternative for South African businesses. Currently, solar radiation levels range between 4,5 and 6,5 kilowatt hours per square metre (kWh/m2) in a day with our annual 24-hour global solar radiation average of about 220 watts per square metre (W/m2). These numbers mean we are well ahead of the United States at 150W/m2 and Europe and the United Kingdom at 100 W/m2.
With these kind of numbers it is clear to understand why businesses are choosing to go for solar because it is a readily available power source that is renewable and risk-adverse because even on the not-so-sunny days, businesses can generate power because solar generation is not about sunshine but rather about solar radiation. So, there is no concern about any power outtages when you rely on the sun for power.
In addition to the availability of solar radiation and the reliability thereof, cost plays a big role and with solar because businesses can save up to 70% on their electricity bills due to reduced unit pricing which continues to improve as solar PV technologies improve, making them more effective in generating power and thus saving the end-user more on their bills.
In addition to the savings on their bills, there are further financial benefits such as the benefit that it has to properties, whether residential or commercial in adding value to their selling price. With solar power systems lasting up to 40 years, it makes it a worthwhile long-term investment onto a property which can add a substantial amount in value onto the selling price.
Is solar the right choice for your business?
If you’re a business in South Africa and you’ve been affected by loadshedding, the answer is yes. At GLC, we provide a full system design and quotation which includes an investment case to give your individual business a unique solution that will provide your business with power 365 days a year and still save you money. Giving you freedom from loadshedding and its effects and making you an independent power generator!