How Can Technology Help Rural South Africa Turn Sunshine into Income?

How Can Technology Help Rural South Africa Turn Sunshine into Income?

It’s no secret that South Africa is seeing a technological boom.

You have heard of Blockchain and its popular application Bitcoin. Now, we’re here to educate you about another rising Blockchain endeavour across Sout

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You have heard of Blockchain and its popular application Bitcoin. Now, we’re here to educate you about another rising Blockchain endeavour across South Africa (SA).

The technology is being used by the rural households to harness and sell excess electricity giving rise to Decentralized Energy. It’s no secret that South Africa is seeing a technological boom.

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Blockchain’s Energy Revolution

Blockchain and applications built on top of it are some of the significant discoveries since the arrival of the internet.

Thanks to the technology behind Bitcoin, the consumers are now becoming producers. Through Blockchain, private owners of renewable energy sources such as photovoltaic (PV) systems could sell excess energy to others.

Breaking Down Decentralized Energy

Not a widely understood concept, decentralized energy refers to energy generated off the main grid. Energy from waste plants, combining heat and power, heating and cooling, biomass, geothermal, and finally, solar energy, are sources of decentralized energy.

The amount of energy South Africa currently produces is way below the required rate. For this reason, decentralized energy provides an efficient and swiftly deployable system to meet the demand.

Need for Decentralization of Energy in South Africa

15.6% of households in rural SA forcefully operate without electricity. The main reason behind this is the inability of centralized grids to extend to powerlines off the grid. The extension of these centralized grids needs capital which is not the country’s strong suit at present.

With Decentralized Grids, the South Africans found a solution to their energy problems. The country is one of the most suitable places to harness solar energy and convert it into electricity through PVs. It is no surprise that the price of solar panels remains high worldwide but for SA, the price of these panels has reduced significantly.

How Blockchain Works with Decentralized Electricity

Households producing electricity through photovoltaic panels installed on their roofs can trade and buy electricity as the need arises. This is where the transforming technology of Blockchain comes in, to keep a track of these trades. Instead of converting them into South African Rands, the electricity units would be directly turned into a blockchain-based cryptocurrency.

Through this practice, Blockchain has the potential to replace the current billing and trading systems combined.

South Africa’s Advantage

The move to decentralized means may take a while in the West but for developing countries such as South Africa, it may become a reality quicker. Estimates show that for the countries with deeply integrated electric systems it may be as long as 25 years before they switch to decentralized energy.

Whereas in developing countries such as SA many parts of their land are not connected to the electric grid. This is a key reason that would allow them to make the transition faster than the others.

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