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Inland malls benefit from free solar installations

The new Lynnwood Lane Retail Centre, a retail development from Lynx Property Developers on Lynnwood Road, Pretoria, is now powered by solar energy. The centre, which includes tenants such as Food Lover’s Market, Nando’s, Westpack Lifestyle and Dischem Pharmacies, has joined a group of forward-thinking retail centres around the country that are harnessing solar energy to limit their environmental footprint and reduce high electricity costs.  A solar photovoltaic system was installed by solar solutions company SolarSaver over 31 days during the construction of the shopping centre. “On the roof, you’ll find 872 solar panels that will produce 1 364 kWh of energy for 22 shops at the centre,” says Lance Green of SolarSaver. “This will go a long way to supplementing the 7 507 kWh of power the retail centre needs to operate on a daily basis.”


Eskom, the supplier of 95% of South Africa’s electricity, has just appointed its eleventh CEO in the last ten years, has R450 billion of debt and is surviving on state bailouts. Power shortages and policy uncertainty remain a continued threat to business and economic growth, and it remains to be seen how new Eskom CEO Andre de Ruyter can work with the government to stabilise the energy provider. One thing is certain, power will not be getting any cheaper. Solar has now become viable, if not essential, option for business as capital investment costs decrease and solar providers compete to offer solutions.

Power shortages, rolling black-outs, policy uncertainty and electricity price hikes are pushing business owners to look for alternative solutions to Eskom. Sunshine is a resource Southern Africa has in abundance, making solar an obvious solution, and many solar installers have sprung up in response to demand. However, business owners need to consider both capital investment and the cost of ongoing maintenance and cleaning when selecting a long-term solution, says Lance Green of energy company SolarSaver.     

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Amidst extreme drought conditions in Namibia, farmers are forced to innovate to ensure the survival of their livestock. A recent study1 proves that the production of animal feed from encroacher bush has the transformational potential for agriculture in a country where 30 million hectares of farmland are affected by bush encroachment. Bush-based animal feed production has now become a viable option for Namibian farmers with new “Bos-tot-Kos” methods and machinery - turning a threat into a valuable biomass resource.