Digitization and PV Business Models for local public authorities and municipal utilities: Workshop series in South Africa

eclareon organized a series of workshops with the local governments and municipal utilities from Johannesburg, Durban, Port Elizabeth and Cape Town in the week of November 25th, in cooperation with Sustainable Energy Africa and with the support of the Secretariat of the South African – German Energy Partnership and GIZ South Africa, within the framework of an energy policy support measure of the Federal Foreign Office.

The aim of the workshops was to discuss ways in which they can overcome the technical and economic impacts of increased use of decentralized photovoltaics through self-generation of commercial electricity consumers in their grid distribution areas. The background is the concern that increasing self-consumption of PV power in conjunction with highly consumption-based tariffs will cause administrations and municipal utilities to have problems refinancing their distribution network infrastructure.

In order to show possibilities to counteract these effects with participatory PV business models, case studies from the German market were presented and discussed with regard to their applicability to the South African context.

The focus was on solutions that enable administrations and municipal utilities themselves to offer their customers PV solutions and other services and to create a digital sales platform that enables cost-effective customer communication and the management of decentralized systems.

More information about the project is available from Christian Grundner.