Electricity prices are continuously going up. It should, therefore, come as no surprise that many wine farms of all sizes are turning to other ways of getting power for their farms, Renewable power generation, especially the power generated from solar photovoltaic is becoming increasingly popular.
The whole of the continent of Africa enjoys plenty of sunshine throughout the year – this is according to the SA Department of Energy. Solar radiation globally is in the region of 220W/m2 for South Africa compared to other places that have only in the region of 150 W/m2 (the USA) and in the region of 100W/m2 for the UK and Europe. As the stats indicate – South Africa is one of the spots with the most sunshine in the world.
The wine industry in South Africa boasts a long history of making as little impact as possible on the environment.
It should come as no surprise that many wine farms throughout South Africa are installing Solar PV technology on their estates to create sustainable energy resources and to become less dependent on the power grid whilst reducing their carbon footprint.
Many wine farms and wine farmers are keen on implementing conservation in their farming methods – solar power is one step further and makes sense. Winemaking consumes plenty of electricity and if this can be controlled with savings made in this area of wine production, then this money could be put to other, better use.
As prices for electricity from the grid spiral out of control, it has become a matter of urgency for wine farms to turn to renewable power generation – particularly where solar photovoltaic is used to reduce the costs of power from the grid.
Until quite recently, exorbitant costs of PV panels made it an expensive exercise to install solar PV – this was the case with most industries including the wine industry. Over the past couple of years, there has been a marked reduction in the cost of solar modules and are now more affordable to implement.
The potential savings of solar plants will generate substantial amounts for wine farms – this applies to all winemakers, including the smaller farms.
As with all businesses, wine farms need to save money, and with the right energy solutions for farms of all sizes, solar will hedge the costs against any future electricity increases.
H2 – Why should wine farms switch to and embrace solar?
- With solar energy, you will be able to protect your wine farm from any increases in the foreseeable future when it comes to increases in utility prices
- Installing solar on your wine farm will allow you the opportunity to make a difference
- Installing solar means that you can reduce your energy costs for running your farm
- Solar enables you, the wine farmer, to reduce your carbon footprint
- Become independent and powerful by not relying on an unstable power grid
- Become a beacon of environmental responsibility by installing clean power to use on your farm
- By implementing an environmentally friendly brand consumers will have confidence in your brand
- There are definite tax benefits with installing solar
- Solar is used for borehole pumps
- Quality is maintained as power is not compromised
Tax benefits for installing solar on your wine farm
To qualify for tax benefits from installing solar – all machinery, implements and utensils need to be owned by the taxpayer claiming for deductions. These can also be under credit arrangements
These machines or implements are brought to the taxpayer for the first time
These machines or implements are being used by the taxpayer in the generation of electricity from renewable energy resources
A taxpayer is permitted a deduction of costs of the asset producing electricity at 50% of deduction costs in the first year of use, 30% in the second year and the rest in the 3rd year of use. If the system produces less than a megawatt then the taxpayer will be permitted a 100% deduction in the first year of use.
Renewable energy is the obvious way moving forward with consumers driving the market for sustainable wines. It is only a question of time before the wine industry is driven entirely by the sun.