South Africa has a critically constrained power system. Since 2010, the country has faced a steadily worsening situation, with current levels of demand far exceeding supply. There are several contributors to this problem, such as frequent power station breakdowns, maintenance issues, corruption, lack of infrastructure, as well as a growing copper cable theft problem.

Despite the government’s promise to address these issues, it is unlikely that the energy crisis in South Africa will be resolved in the next 5-10 years.

The upcoming period is also anticipated to be globally transformative, with many developed countries shifting their electrification grid to renewable energy. This means that South Africa faces the double challenge of having to resolve its existing issues and modernise its power generation methods.

In 2020, the electricity generated from renewables amounted to about 10.5% of the South African national total, meaning that South Africa still has a long way to go towards moving away from coal-generated power.

While the government is self-constrained in rolling out major projects to address the energy crisis, the private sector will play a key role in transforming the electrification landscape over the coming years. One of the main setbacks in progress is the complicated legislation regarding Independent Power Producers (IPPs).

However, South Africans need not hold their breath for these changes. There are many solutions to address these challenges, with many households and businesses taking electricity availability into their own hands.

Lithium-ion technology has made back-up and energy storage solutions more viable as grid instability increases