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More homeowners seek loan services for solar power

Sibahle Malinga
By Sibahle Malinga, ITWeb senior news journalist.
Johannesburg, 24 Jan 2024
Izzat Sankari, channels business director for Sungrow Middle East and Africa.
Izzat Sankari, channels business director for Sungrow Middle East and Africa.

Solar energy solutions provider Sungrow Southern Africa has seen soaring demand for its renewable energy solutions over the last few years, as rolling blackouts drive more locals to migrate to renewable energy.

As the country continues to grapple with load-shedding, the Chinese multinational renewable energy firm says it has seen an uptick in the number of homeowners who opt to purchase its solar power products via its loan offering.

The company introduced the loan service last year, through strategic partnerships with financial institutions such as Merchant West, to make solar power solutions accessible to all South Africans, without being hindered by upfront costs.

While government has introduced tax rebates for those who purchase solar power, solar technology remains out of reach for the majority of South Africans.

“Sungrow has witnessed robust demand for our renewable offerings in South Africa over the past two years, showcasing significant revenue and net profit growth,” says Izzat Sankari, channels business director for Sungrow Middle East and Africa.

“This is particularly evident in the success of our solar and storage solutions for both commercial and industrial applications and utility-scale projects. Sungrow anticipates sustained growth in the renewable energy sector, aligning with global initiatives to decrease carbon emissions and shift towards cleaner energy sources.”

While he did not disclose customer numbers, Sankari says the company is looking at garnering a bigger cut of the local solar market share, through aligning with its global strategy and strengthening local partnerships.

Founded in 1997 by university professor Cao Renxian, Sungrow’s renewable energy product portfolio includes photovoltaic inverter solutions, and energy storage systems for utility-scale, commercial, industrial and residential applications.

Discussing challenges in SA’s renewable energy market, Sankari points to safety risks, the need to source reliable and certified service providers, and high costs as hindrances faced by consumers and providers.

“The implementation of reliable backup power systems is a financial obstacle for many individuals and business owners, owing to the comparatively expensive expenditure involved. As a result, people and businesses frequently seek financial aid in the form of loans to help them acquire these necessary technologies.”

Sankari notes there are persistent concerns in the market surrounding the reliability and safety of smart energy solutions. Oftentimes, these fears stem from misconceptions, he states.

“Continuously addressing and reducing concerns about the safety of these items is crucial in order to cultivate trust and assurance among customers.”

Outlining plans for the year, Sankari says the company is looking to expand its product portfolio locally, while also scaling the business to other parts of the country.

“Our commitment to advancing technology and meeting the evolving needs of our customers remains at the forefront of our initiatives for the year.

“Our company is gearing up for exciting developments and expansion this year. By the end of February, we will introduce our latest three-phase inverter solutions designed to cater to residential and commercial needs.

“For homeowners, these solutions will provide a reliable option to start and run more appliances, such as HVAC systems, pool pumps and underfloor heating, even during grid outages,” he concludes.