woensdag 7 maart 2012

Short thoughts on South Africa

South Africa: Any bad memories over a lost final at the Football World Championships were swiftly forgotten due to the friendly people in this country. If you can keep on smiling and see a sunny future after a shadowed history, you should be fine.

South Africa has one of the best irradiation levels in the world, a fine infrastructure, phenomenal landscapes, superb ostrich meat and wine – but above all, friendly people. "Welcome to my office" said the cleaner of the men's room. And why not? Isn't the office a place of sit-down meetings were shitty ideas are born and good stuff flushed away...?

The SA Government is serious. Energy utility ESKOM needs more power and is open for PPAs.

The country's growing economy needs fuel for growth, and electricity prices are expected to increase 25% during the coming two years. In addition to the 1450 MW the government will support in the three tender rounds, it has set a target of 8400 MW for 2030. The latter seems way too pessimistic when we look at the potential. With PV becoming competitive very soon, SA looks ready for a growth of at least 30% per year. It was no coincidence that two international experts are predicting an annual market of more than 5 GW by 2015 already. And, let's not forget, in the past such forecasts have turned out to have been on the pessimistic side.

As in any market, there are still a few hurdles to overcome. But we have seen these kinds of struggles in most successful markets. It takes three years to develop a market. South Africa is heading for an energetic and sunny future. I will be back!

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