June 13, 2024
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ELECTRICITY RENEWABLE ENERGY

GoSolr to Invest $537 Million in Solar Panel Leasing Program in South Africa

GoSolr, backed by South African tycoon Patrice Motsepe and the continent’s largest bank, is set to inject 10 billion rand ($537 million) into a program aimed at leasing solar panels and batteries to households in South Africa, which has been plagued with persistent power outages.

Andrew Middleton, CEO of GoSolr, revealed that the company plans to ramp up its solar-generation capacity to approximately 500 megawatts over the next four years, a significant increase from its current capacity of 70 megawatts.

Bloomberg reported that GoSolr has secured investment and financing from Patrice Motsepe’s African Rainbow Capital Investments Ltd. and Standard Bank Group Ltd.

As the largest initiative of its kind in South Africa, GoSolr joins a growing number of entities capitalizing on the frequent power cuts and escalating electricity prices that have plagued the nation since 2008.

In March, rooftop solar installations in South Africa saw a remarkable surge, with capacity more than doubling to 5,440 megawatts compared to the previous year. Residential properties contributed around 620 megawatts to this total, according to data compiled by a Johannesburg-based company.

Despite possessing abundant solar potential, only 0.7% of South Africa’s 17.8 million households utilize solar technology for electricity. In comparison, Australia boasts a 31% adoption rate, while it stands at 4% in the UK and 3% in the US.

Currently, solar accounts for a mere 9.9% of the country’s power generation, with coal dominating at 77%. While solar energy is environmentally friendly, South Africa’s heavy reliance on coal has positioned it as the world’s 15th-largest emitter of greenhouse gases.

GoSolr is targeting the 2.2 million households earning more than 360,000 rand annually. Its subscription-based service is already proving to be cost-effective for clients in Cape Town, known for having the highest electricity costs among major South African cities.

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