Solar Electrification by the Concession Approach in the Rural Eastern Cape: Phase 2: Monitoring Survey November 2003

"The present report focuses on the results of a second visit to households using Solar Home Systems (SHS) in the concession area of Eskom-Shell Ply in the Eastern Cape. It is to be regarded as a follow-up to the report circulated in March 2004, which described the origins of the research undertaken by the Energy Research Centre at the University of Cape Town on off grid electrification, the objectives of the government’s non-grid electrification programme, and the barriers to the setting-up of the institutional framework for providing SHS for rural households. The first report also provided the results of extensive fieldwork and surveys undertaken in 2001 in the Eastern Cape. This report concerns the follow-up study and presents the results from a return visit, at the end of 2003, to some of the same households that had been interviewed two years earlier. The government’s decision to provide solar power for households unlikely to receive grid electricity in the near future has already had a considerable impact. To date, about 20 000 SHS have been installed under the government’s off-grid electrification programme, a figure derived from the information furnished by the service providers interviewed. The solar systems installed are small, with a total output of 50Wp that is sufficient to provide for 4 energy efficient lights, a black and white TV, a small radio and small appliances such as a cell phone charger."