Grid defection: Cutting Eskom ties

By J Ward, Soltra Energy


Published in:

Electricity+Control, November 2015 (pages 8, 9)

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Globally, solar power is starting to cut into power utility company sales and revenues. It is a trend that has the potential to disrupt the viability of utility companies, including South Africa’s Eskom, as customers move to cut their ties and live off the grid.

The tremendous advances in solar PV technology, combined with the massive strides being taken in battery design, can make the electricity grid optional for many customers sooner than was anticipated. Grid defection today is entirely possible. Equipped with a solar PV system and battery storage, customers can opt out of the traditional utility service with what is described as a ‘utility-in-a-box’.

As grid defections grow in number, electricity revenues will fall, prompting a rise in electricity prices that would make solar-plus-battery systems even more attractive and speed the cycle. It is a reality that Eskom and NERSA (National Energy Regulator) will have to address – sooner or later.


Take note

  • Solar power is cutting into power utility company sales and revenues.
  • Advances in solar PV technology and battery design will soon make the electricity grid an option for many.
  • Solar-plus-battery systems are available in South Africa today.