South Africa: dena pilot projects demonstrate pioneering financial model for photovoltaics

Customers lease photovoltaic systems/Academy trains engineers, architects and sales partners

Matthew Kempthorne (Energy and Climate Change Committee), Felix Schmid (dena), Klaus Heidorn (Deutsches Generalkonsulat Kapstadt) und Antje Klauss-Vorreiter (maxx-solar) bei der Eröffnung der Anlagen an der Dominican Grimley School

On 19 May, as part of the Renewable Energy Solutions programme (RES), dena inaugurated two photovoltaic systems in Greater Cape Town. The special feature: a new finance model to facilitate the expansion of photovoltaics (PV) in South Africa.

Through maxx-solar’s ‘PV leasing’ scheme, renewable energy is becoming affordable for many South African customers. The company sells the system to the finance company. The end customer – in the pilot project the Dominican Grimley School and the Atlantic Gold Guesthouse – pays the finance company a rate of hire agreed in advance. In effect, the end customer is buying the electricity generated by the system. After five to fifteen years, the end customer can purchase the system for the residual value.

Expanding photovoltaics in South Africa – through technology and training

Both of the roof-mounted systems at the Dominican Grimley School in Hout Bay and at the Atlantic Gold Guesthouse in Camps Bay, with a peak total of 34 kilowatts, were installed as showcase projects of the RES programme. In the future they will produce around 57,000 kilowatt hours of solar power per year.

Also included in the project is a training initiative. In 2011 maxx-solar, jointly with the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Sonnenenergie (International Solar Energy Society, German Section), founded the maxx-solar academy in South Africa. It trains engineers, architects and sales partners. Now the academy’s graduates can advise their customers not only on technical matters, but also with regard to the new financing opportunities.

At the opening ceremony, Klaus Heidhorn, Permanent Representative of the Head of the German Consulate General in Cape Town, and Councillor Matthew Kempthorne, Chairperson of the Energy and Climate Change Committee, took part along with numerous representatives from South African industry.

‘A great challenge in the field of photovoltaics is financing,’ says Kempthorne. ‘Today this project is showing us the way to the future; because through partnerships between Governments and private enterprise we can bring about the necessary global change.’

dena’s Renewable Energy Solutions Programme

dena’s Renewable Energy Solutions programme offers German businesses in the renewable energy sector the opportunity of implementing model projects at prime locations abroad – and thereby opening up attractive target markets.
dena initiated the RES programme, supported by the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi) as part of the energy export initiative.