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Friday, January 14, 2011

Solar panels in South Africa


If you look how many times people search for "solar panels" on Google, you get an idea about how this technology is becoming popular and popular.
You also get another information: most of the people that searched for solar panels are in South Africa!

Why is that?
Well, you get part of the answer looking at the website http://www.solarpanel.co.za or at this other directory http://www.solarcompanies.co.za
 
These people are alternative energy solution specialists, offering consulting and also selling all the pieces that you need to power your house from solar panels. The presence of these professionals in the country of South Africa is an interesting sign, it means that there is a business around renewables.

If you look at the solar radiation map here on the right (click to enlarge) you see that they do have quite a good irradiation in South Africa, like in many other places in Africa.

You should also keep in mind that they have a good power distribution infrastructure in South Africa, and therefore the integration of solar generation is relatively easy, while in other African countries they may have worse power distribution grids. In this other cases solar power becomes important because it provides an intelligent backup for outages, and a good source of energy for those activities that can be easily delayed: for example, desalinators. These devices produce drinkable water from sea water, and they can store the water that they produce for later use. Therefore, a cloudy day is not a big issue. This is a smart way of integrating intermittent power sources like solar and wind!