Renewable Energy Taking Center Stage in South Africa


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The South African power commodity market is changing, and renewable energy is taking centre stage. The growing contribution of renewable power and its inherent intermittent nature will drive demand for upgraded transmission equipment and infrastructure that require minimum maintenance and have a longer service life. While switchgears, transformers, and reactors are critical in supplying quality power to customers in a cost-effective manner, power utilities should look towards OEMs to improve product performance and reduce lifecycle costs.

Frost & Sullivan’s latest research, “South African Power Commodity Market, Forecast to 2022,” provides an overview of recent features and technology developments in switchgears, transformers, and reactors. Market analysis, including trends, drivers, restraints, opportunities, capabilities, competitor profiles, future procurement criteria, and strategies, are also discussed.

“Transmission infrastructure in South Africa is among the more reliable networks in Sub-Saharan Africa. However, the network is in constant need of upgradation owing to the growing contribution of renewable energy,” said Frost & Sullivan Power Generation Research Analyst Nikhil Deshbhratar. “Grid upgradation to cater to the intermittent nature of renewable power and its expanding portfolio will require power utilities to explore cost-effective and advanced technologies presenting opportunities to global OEMs.”

To remain competitive and drive new growth opportunities, companies should:

  • Adopt a product-as-a-service approach;
  • Shift procurement strategy to focus on total cost of ownership (TCO);
  • Strengthen business relationships to include aspects relating to product selection, service, maintenance, and operational costs;
  • Provide solutions that optimise total operation costs over the product lifecycle; and
  • Embrace innovative partnerships and streamline supply chains to improve market competitiveness.

“Indigenous manufacturers in South Africa currently rely on European markets to procure critical components such as bushing and tap changers to manufacture transformers and other equipment. This constitutes a significant cost component for the local OEM,” noted Deshbhratar. “Local manufacturing, standardisation and establishment of a local supply chain will help South African OEMs become more competitive in supplying requisite utility equipment.”

About Frost & Sullivan

Frost & Sullivan, the Growth Partnership Company, works in collaboration with clients to leverage visionary innovation that addresses the global challenges and related growth opportunities that will make or break today's market participants. For more than 50 years, we have been developing growth strategies for the global 1000, emerging businesses, the public sector and the investment community.

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