The South African Photovoltaic Industry Association

Creating jobs, providing education, promoting environmental stewardship and ensuring the future remains bright for South Africa and its people.

 The South African Photovoltaic Industry Association represents more than 100 dynamic professionals who have a deep passion for technology and for South Africa. They are a not-for-profit organization dedicated to the development of the country’s solar PV electricity market as well as the growth of South Africa and its people. The South African Photovoltaic Industry Association believes solar power is the future and they want to contribute and support its progression. Photovoltaic electricity will improve the lives of thousands of South Africans.

The South African Photovoltaic Industry Association began with only seven members. Our goal was to enlighten people on the benefits of PV technology throughout the country. This got the attention of the South African government. There are many companies in South Africa who are focused and supportive of the PV movement. We agreed, and the SAPIA grew to include similar minded professionals. This collaboration allowed us to address the huge untapped potential for PV in South Africa more effectively. This is an on-going task.

The South African government has announced the Integrated Resource Plan as much as 8400MW of installed energy capacity by 2020. Our organization seeks to promote every aspect of the industry and the solar power roll out plan. We encourage the take up of technology on a national scale. It begins with sharing knowledge and helping people/companies adjust their way of thinking. We do this with awareness campaigns, participating in corporate discussions and assisting policy making executives in order to promote renewable technology.

South Africa has always relied on fossil fuel. There are a number of reasons to diversify. South Africa should consider the economic, technological and environmental aspect of PV Technology. The economical aspect of PV Technology is critical to the future of the country. We must embark on reusable fuels (not only in South Africa but all over the world).

Relying on only fossil fuel, leaves the country vulnerable and at risk. Fossil fuel is made up of coal, gas and nuclear energy. The limit of this type of thinking is evident. There are only a few areas to contain the coal fuel stations and that leaves much of the country exposed to issues. Solar power could be enacted anywhere. The production of solar fuel being produced in the areas that have had to be dependent on other locations in the past will be effective in providing power economically. Also, the addition of solar power to our fields of energy will create jobs in the areas where unemployment is on the rise. Furthermore, if solar plants were put in rural areas; it would attract commerce which would be a huge boost to South Africa’s economy.

Not only will the carbon emission be reduced dramatically, but the abuse of the precious water to a country where water is in short supply would be greatly reduced and eventually eliminated. Households would no longer have to compete with industry to have adequate water supplies needed to survive. The cost of transmission of power would also be reduced as the solar power could be put virtually anywhere. Solar power will reduce expense, reduce pollution, provide a wider grid of power to the people of South Africa, create jobs and draw income to the country.

Just a few short years ago the SAPIA was seven members. Today it is more than 100 members strong. Businesses are getting on board. This is a win/win situation for businesses, as well as the general population. The movement is on its way but more needs to be done to educate people about PV solutions.

The misconceptions SAPIA must battle are out dated ideas that solar power is more expensive than the fossil fuel. Some also believe solar power is harder to use and inconvenient. This is an old mindset. With more people joining SAPIA, communication is being opened that allow us to disprove those ideas. Change is hard, but with knowledge and assistance, change will happen. The future demands it and the people of South Africa are ready for it -time is now. We must take advantage of the opportunity before us.

South Africa’s transition to a green economy is underway. SAPIA has been instrumental in helping the policy makers make changes necessary for this project. By assisting businesses, government and the general population; the future of South Africa having a renewable, clean and affordable energy is a reality. The future is bright.

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