SA is not even in the game when it comes to solar electricity generation, which is forecast to rapidly expand in the world’s key economies in 2019. SA has abundant sunshine, according to the department of energy’s website, but it is a sorely underutilised resource that could ease the country’s electricity shortage, which is at crisis levels. China has 45GW of installed solar photovoltaic capacity, which matches what Eskom’s on-paper capacity is from its coal-fired power stations, small hydro-schemes — which need electricity from the coal stations to keep them operational — and diesel-powered plants. Looking at the pace of global photovoltaic installations contained in a report by IHS Markit, it is clear that SA doesn’t have a clue when it comes to this form of energy. The latest projections are for global solar photovoltaic installations to grow 25% this year to 129GW. SA doesn’t feature. SA, in its latest integrated resources plan (IRP), envisions just shy of 8GW from solar by 2030...

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