A simple comparison between how many roofs are needed for Grid Tied Solar PV to equal the amount of consumption that Eskom calls to be shed at each Stage reveals a very sad truth about the cost overruns at Medupi and how short sighted government can be.
- When Eskom calls for Stage 2 loadshedding they are looking to shut off 2000 Megawatts of demand / electricity use.
- When Eskom calls for Stage 4 loadshedding they are looking to shut off 4000 Megawatts of demand / electricity use.
- When Eskom calls for Stage 4 loadshedding they will be looking to shut off 8000 Megawatts of demand / electricity use.
2000 Megawatts represents 2 000 000 kilowatts, 4000 megawatts represents 4 000 000 kilowatts and 8000 Megawatts represents 9 000 000 kilowatts of consumption.
According to Stats SA there are about 14.5 million households in South Africa – 77.6% of which are formal dwellings.
Lets assume that 40% (4.408 million) of the formal dwellings have a roof suitable for the installation of a 5 kW solar system – the maximum allowed for a single phase solar PV system in the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipal area.
Lets assume that there will be no bribery, corruption or payoffs to anyone to get the job to install Solar PV Systems on 7.25 Million roofs in South Africa.
The numbers work as follows:
- 4.408 Million 5 kW Solar PV System will produce 22.04 Million kilowatts of power at peak
- Lets discount that to 60% which will equal a total production of 13.224 Million kilowatts (13 240 megawatts) of electricity
Put it simply – on the numbers above we will have enough electricity generated from the roofs of homeowners to easily take care of Stage 8 load shedding at 8000 megawatts with 5 240 megawatts more than needed.
The following are the number of suitable roofs with Solar PV required:
- To produce the equivalent of 8000 megawatts – 1 600 000 roofs
- To produce the equivalent of 4000 megawatts – 800 000 roofs
- To produce the equivalent of 2000 megawatts – 40 000 roofs
Let’s assume a cost per kW of each grid tie only installation to be R15 000 or R75 000 per household. A 5kW system produces an annual average of around 960 units per month.
The we would be looking at an installed cost per Stage as follows:
- Stage 2 – R30 Billion
- Stage 4 – R60 Billion
- Stage 8 – R120 Billion
Let’s put this into perspective with a comparison to Medupi:
- The coal fired power station is rated to produce 4764 MW – just more than what is required to neutralise Stage 4 load shedding.
- Currently the cost of Medupi is estimated at R195 billion – more than 3 times the cost of Solar PV required to negate Stage 4!
So – for R120 Billion the South African Government could have put Solar PV on 1.6 Million private roofs all over the country and we would never have load shedding again, nor would we have to buy sub standard coal AND we would have created a dump load of 4th Industrial Revolution jobs.
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