As South Africa grapples with relentless load shedding and sky-rocketing electricity prices, a new study by Alumo Energy has spotlighted solar systems as the most economical long-term solution for businesses.
The study, which compared the costs of various energy alternatives, underscores the financial implications of the ongoing national energy crisis.
“The national energy crisis, coupled with exorbitant electricity bills and the financial strain of load shedding, has compelled South Africans to explore alternative energy sources,” Rein Snoeck Henkemans, Managing Director of Alumo Energy said.
Alumo Energy's research focused on a hypothetical small business with monthly electricity bills ranging between R15,000 and R20,000.
The study examined four scenarios: remaining grid-dependent, investing in a generator, opting for a battery and inverter back-up system, and installing a hybrid solar solution with battery and inverter back-up.
The findings were revealing:
Staying Grid-Dependent: While initially cost-effective, a business would face losses exceeding R28.8 million over 15 years due to rising electricity prices and load shedding-induced income loss.
Opting for a Generator: Despite a R300,000 investment in a 60kVA generator, the business would still incur losses of over R16.9 million over the same period, mainly due to diesel inflation and maintenance costs.
Battery and Inverter Back-Up: With an upfront cost of R676,950, the business would spend just over R10.9 million in 15 years, saving nearly R6 million compared to the generator scenario.
Hybrid Solar System: Investing around R1.18 million in a hybrid solar solution would not only allow the business to break even after eight years but also yield a profit of over R1.9 million by the fifteenth year.
“Solar systems undeniably offer the best long-term value. They are particularly beneficial for businesses needing a consistent energy supply to safeguard their operations and potentially enhance their future cash flow.”