Around 14% of South Africans don’t have electricity, according to statistics from the World Bank. Amid rising demand, even those connected to the grid face energy access problems, notably frequent power cuts.
“The demand for electricity is growing at a sustained rate in an environment where the development of the network of distribution cannot meet the demand,” says Giovanni Di Ielsi, who oversees retail business operations in South Africa for Enel Green Power, a subsidiary of energy multinational Enel.
The country is also heavily reliant on coal – around 90 per cent of its electricity comes from coal-fired power stations. It’s the twelfth largest emitter of CO2 globally, and number seven on the list of the biggest coal producers. All of which means it is no surprise that pressure is increasing to drive the country to a greener future.