By DIRK DE VOS.
The solar PV (photovoltaic) industry is still small but it’s growing at an exponential rate with 159MW already installed up from just 35MW a year before. As the price of PV panels continues to fall and the price of electricity pushes ever upward, more people will look to rooftop solar PV as an alternative.
On the face of it, there is nothing not to like. More renewable energy means a reduced impact on the environment. There is a catch though. Our electricity supply systems are unprepared for the impact of small scale electricity generation and unless South Africa’s electricity distributors, (the municipalities) and Eskom, where it supplies directly, make the necessary adjustments, we could face a situation where everyone loses – Eskom, the municipalities, consumers, the environment, the economy and, indeed, issues of social justice.