South Africa’s solar panel imports from China skyrocket in first half of 2023

During the first half of 2023, South Africa experienced a significant surge in its solar panel imports from China, reaching 3.4 gigawatts (GW). As per News24, this level of production nearly matches the generation capacity of Eskom’s Duvha and Matla power stations, each boasting an installed capacity of 3.6 GW. These statistics were recently brought to light by the energy-focused... Read more → The post South Africa’s solar panel imports from China skyrocket in first half of 2023 appeared first on CapeTown ETC.

South Africa’s solar panel imports from China skyrocket in first half of 2023

During the first half of 2023, South Africa experienced a significant surge in its solar panel imports from China, reaching 3.4 gigawatts (GW).

As per News24, this level of production nearly matches the generation capacity of Eskom’s Duvha and Matla power stations, each boasting an installed capacity of 3.6 GW.

These statistics were recently brought to light by the energy-focused think tank, Ember.


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Ember’s report, released on Thursday, underscored China’s booming solar photovoltaic (PV) exports, which saw a 33% increase to reach 114 GW within the first half of the year.

In terms of importing nations, Europe emerged as the primary destination, accounting for over half of China’s solar PV exports at 52.5%, followed by Brazil, which imported 9.5 GW.

However, the most rapid growth in solar panel imports is occurring in the regions of Africa and the Middle East.

South Africa, in particular, stands out as the driving force behind import growth for Africa as a whole, posting an astonishing 187% increase.

Furthermore, South Africa recorded the second-highest percentage growth in imports after Europe, with an impressive surge of 438%.

The report’s findings also shed light on the reasons behind this growth in solar panel imports, with a contributing factor being the frequent occurrence of loadshedding in South Africa, prompting residents to turn to rooftop solar installations as a reliable alternative energy source.

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Additionally, the government’s short-term tax incentives have played a significant role in spurring this growth.

For households, there is an opportunity to qualify for a tax credit of up to 25% of the solar PV panel installation cost, with a maximum cap of R15 000. This incentive programme came into effect on 1 March and is slated to remain in place until 29 February 2024.

Businesses have not been left out either, as they can benefit from an expanded incentive offering a 125% tax deduction for renewable energy projects, valid for two years until 28 February 2025.


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The government has also introduced a loan programme to facilitate solar financing. Under this scheme, the government guarantees solar-related loans, assuming 20% of the loss in cases of loan defaults.

Cities such as Cape Town and Johannesburg are enticing residents with feed-in tariffs to further promote solar energy adoption.

Gaylor Montmasson-Clair, the facilitator of the South African Renewable Energy Masterplan, has expressed agreement with Ember’s findings, stating that they align with the trade data he has been monitoring.

This surge in solar panel imports from China is indicative of South Africa’s growing commitment to renewable energy and the potential for a more sustainable and reliable energy future.

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Picture: Nuno Marques / Unsplash

The post South Africa’s solar panel imports from China skyrocket in first half of 2023 appeared first on CapeTown ETC.


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