Winds of Change

Expectations can really mess one around. If you had high expectations of the government reshuffle, you must feel pretty deflated now. The only “good riddance” were Lindiwe Sisulu and Nathi Mthethwa, but in their place we are paying for several additional new ministers. Just sometimes, our expectations can indeed be too low and we are pleasantly surprised by the outcome. Currently, most people have very low expectations of our ability to solve the electricity problems, but we might be wrong and we might see some improvements over the shorter term.

There is a remarkable drive to install solar panels, especially in the Western Cape, where Mayor Geordin Hill-Lewis has remarked, “We are seeing exponential growth of approved solar installations in Cape Town”. The graph below illustrates this point. The good thing about people’s becoming self-sufficient regarding electricity, is that we are not only utilizing free resources, but we are also lowering the demand on the city to provide electricity – which would also benefit those people who cannot afford to install a solar system.

Another encouraging sign is the massive renewable energy generation capacity coming to South Africa. In only the first two months of 2023, a total of 1073MW was registered with NERSA, and the first five projects over 100MW. In 2022, 1659MW were registered over the whole year and only 86MW in 2021 (see graph).

These are encouraging signs but we should not try and predict the future. Even the brightest minds have been notoriously bad at this, as the following picture illustrates:

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