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Solar Energy Trends for 2020 in South Africa

“What’s Hot and What’s Not in the World of Solar Energy in South Africa” 

With so many areas across South Africa experiencing many days of sunshine – almost 2 500 hours of sunshine a year, and with the radiation levels on average between 4.5 and 6.5 kWh/m2 a day, it should be an obvious choice to go the solar energy route. 

Solar energy is cost-effective, there are no emissions (unlike non-renewable energy), and it is safe as well as being environmentally friendly. 

South Africa’s installed solar energy capacity is growing fast and this is expected to increase in the next couple of years. The solar industry in South Africa and the rest of the continent of Africa is part of a dynamic and burgeoning market. 

 Many factors need to be considered when it comes to the implementation of solar energy on a grand scale in South Africa. Some of these include the advancement of solar energy technology, the climate crisis, public awareness of climate changes, commodity prices, government policies, the cost of fossil fuels, and more. 

What’s Hot and What’s Not in 2020 

Solar Battery Prices are Becoming More Affordable in 2020 

As the demand for solar increases in 2020, the prices for solar batteries are becoming more affordable for the average business or individual.  

Solar power is intermittent as it relies on the rays of the sun. Solar panels produce power when the sun shines. On cloudy or overcast days and at night solar cannot be extracted from the sunrays. Energy is stored in batteries. This then enables the solar system to supply power when it is cloudy or when the sun sets. Batteries, therefore, assist in powering solar energy systems. 

There Are Two Main Types of Solar Batteries 

The two main types of solar batteries include lead-acid batteries and lithium-ion batteries 

Lead-acid batteries are the same kind that power motor cars 

The second type of solar battery is a lithium-ion battery which is a more intricate battery, but it lasts longer, requires minimal maintenance, although they usually cost a lot more than lead-acid type batteries. The good news is that the cost of lithium-ion batteries has decreased over time and is now a lot more affordable than before. The downward trend of costs of lithium-ion batteries continues to drop as popularity for solar increases. 

The demand for solar is increasing and consumer interesting is growing and is viewed as being a necessity and not a luxury as thousands of utility consumers are left in the dark too often. 

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Tourism Is Back – How Sustainable Is Your Establishment

“As Tourism Opens Its Doors in South Africa, The Need for Sustainable Tourism is Essential” 

South Africa is one of the world’s most exquisite travel destinations with its teeming wildlife, pristine beaches, verdant forests, majestic mountain ranges and enviable climate. These are all perfect drawcards for millions of tourists that visit each year. Sadly, COVID19 has had an extremely devastating effect on the tourism industry. More so now than ever before every penny should be counted. Sustainable efforts are seriously in need of being ramped up. 

How Sustainable is Your Establishment? 

Sustainable tourism is a brilliant tool for developing the tourism industry as the general idea is to highlight how everyone in the industry can contribute to making tourism more eco-friendly and how they can preserve the environment. 

Operating sustainably, tourism businesses need to look at conserving water and to minimise the carbon footprint of the establishment on the environment. These should be the top priorities of tourism establishments in South Africa. The key is being adaptable and changing the way we do things. 

The world is changing – this is apparent after being faced with a pandemic that no-one saw coming. To operate in a sustainable manner, waste should be minimised and wherever possible, water should be conserved. This will result in a reduction of an establishment’s carbon footprint on the environment. 

Energy and water are high on the list of consumption for hotels. For establishments to adhere to sustainability rules and regulations, hotels, bed and breakfast establishments among others are encouraged to use solar panels for heating and to use globes that are energyefficient to cut back on electricity bills. 

How the Tourism Industry Has Put Pressure on SA’s Natural Resources  

Tourism puts immense pressure on the country’s natural resources. Tourism is responsible for generating 10% of the country’s GDP and responsible for employing one in every 10 people. According to World Tourism, the industry is responsible for almost 5% of global emissions, being responsible for around 4,6% of the global warming that takes place. 

Tourism puts huge pressure on the natural resources of a country and is especially the case in South Africa with the country experiencing severe droughts and challenges with the grid. 

The hospitality and tourism industries have a responsibility to practice sustainable tourism. Using solar power or even replacing all globes with energy-efficient globes is a small step in the right direction.  

A sustainability approach should, therefore, be instilled in all aspects of the tourism industry including the support of sustainable suppliers of foods and cleaning products.