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German-based Concentrix Solar has inaugurated its first facility in South Africa, commissioning a 60-kilowatt solar power plant at Aquila Private Game Reserve in Touwsrivier in the Western Cape.
On 7 October a fleet of odd-looking vehicles rolled into Pretoria after an epic two-week, 4 175km round-trip across South Africa to end the first South African Solar Challenge, the longest and toughest solar-powered race in the world.
Eskom is offering home owners rebates of 15% to 20% - translating to savings of between R1 800 and R4 900 - on the cost of installing solar water-heating systems.
Toyota has become the latest company to answer power utility Eskom's call for companies to reduce electricity consumption and to find alternative energy sources, by installing over 200 solar panels at a cost of R3.5-million at its plant in Durban.
Switching from conventional geysers to solar water heaters is not only a response to the current energy crisis affecting South Africa, but also a sustainable long-term investment for residents, says Minerals and Energy Minister Buyelwa Sonjica.
State energy company Eskom has invited South Africans to register on its website to get tips on reducing their energy consumption as well as incentives for using solar energy to power much of their household needs.
Eskom is piloting the use of solar power-powered traffic lights at a busy Cape Town intersection, making life easier for motorists and helping the city save on its energy bill.
Network BBDO won South Africa's first Outdoor Grand Prix at the 2007 International Cannes Advertising Festival for a solar-powered billboard offering "power to the people" - literally, in the form of electricity generated for a nearby school.
South Africa, through public energy company CEF, has launched a six-month pilot project to introduce solar water heating in middle- to upper-income homes as the country seeks to exploit one of its most abundant resources - sunshine.
The Council for Scientific and Industrial Research is representing South Africa in an international, multi-partner project aiming to demonstrate that solar disinfection of drinking water is an effective intervention against waterborne diseases.