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Understanding the Duck Curve: Solar Energy’s Unique Challenge in South Africa

South Africa’s solar energy sector is experiencing unprecedented growth, marked by a R7.8 billion investment in new solar facilities within just three months. This rapid expansion highlights a crucial challenge known as the ‘California Duck Curve’.

The Recent Solar Upsurge:

Between October and December 2023, NERSA registered 124 solar generation facilities, demonstrating a significant shift towards renewable energy. However, this growth brings into focus the severe shortage of battery energy storage systems (BESS), which are vital for managing the imbalance between solar energy supply and demand.


Understanding the Duck Curve:

This curve depicts the disparity in energy supply and demand due to solar power generation. Without adequate BESS, the grid faces substantial stress during peak demand times, particularly in the mornings and evenings. 


South Africa’s Grid and BESS Necessity:

NERSA’s concerns underline the importance of integrating BESS with solar facilities to mitigate the Duck Curve effect. The current reliance on less efficient energy sources during peak times not only strains the grid but disrupts economic models for energy utilisation.


Regional Focus:

The Western Cape and Gauteng are leading the solar initiative, while the North-West province, driven by its mining activities, has attracted the most significant investment.

To optimise the benefits of solar energy, South Africa needs a strategic approach that includes the integration of BESS. This is crucial for balancing the grid and ensuring the sustainable growth of the solar energy sector.

Are you looking for the ideal battery solution for your solar project? Contact us so that we can help you plan the right solution.

Here is some information on our battery solutions.

LiFePO4 Batteries:

  • Safety – They have thermal stability so less likely to overheat or catch fire and explode.
  • Longer Cycle Life – It can be discharged to 100% and have 10,000 charge-discharge cycles and a full 10-year guarantee.
  • Environmentally Friendly – LiFePO4 batteries are considered more environmentally friendly than traditional lithium-ion batteries because they do not contain toxic materials such as cobalt.
  • Temperature Range – It can operate in colder or hotter environments without power degradation or damage to the battery pack, operating temperature range between -20°C to 60°C
  • Efficient – Fast charging makes lithium iron phosphate batteries more efficient, with double the recharge rate.


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