South Africa: Outdated Thinking and Reactionary Rules Hold Back Electricity Supply in South Africa


When it comes to domestic, grid-tied, rooftop solar photovoltaic systems in South Africa, as with so many other aspects in the country's electricity supply industry, outdated thinking and reactionary rules are holding back the supply of electricity in misguided efforts to protect the incumbent monopolies.

Chris Yelland is managing director, EE Business Intelligence

Even municipal electricity distributors in South Africa considered to be progressive and forward thinking, such as the City of Cape Town, have ridiculous, self-serving rules when it comes to domestic solar photovoltaic (PV) systems that feed electricity back into the grid. Other municipal and Eskom electricity distributors are no different.

Limits on the size of domestic rooftop solar PV installations

NRS 098 2-1, the outdated Eskom and municipal electricity standard used as the rulebook for small-scale embedded generation (SSEG), limits the size of grid-tied, rooftop solar PV systems in residential installations. For example, a solar PV system on a house with a 60A single-phase supply is limited to 3.68 kW. Similarly, other limits apply to residential installations with 40A, 80A or 100A single or three-phase supplies.

Apparently, the 3.68 kW limit was calculated on the basis that if every single house connected to a final distribution transformer...

More From: Daily Maverick

Don't Miss

AllAfrica publishes around 800 reports a day from more than 130 news organizations and over 500 other institutions and individuals, representing a diversity of positions on every topic. We publish news and views ranging from vigorous opponents of governments to government publications and spokespersons. Publishers named above each report are responsible for their own content, which AllAfrica does not have the legal right to edit or correct.

Articles and commentaries that identify as the publisher are produced or commissioned by AllAfrica. To address comments or complaints, please Contact us.