Microcare recently exhibited at the 2016 Solar Show and was blown away by the support for local innovation and manufacturing once again. There is an overwhelming acknowledgement that BUYING LOCAL is the economic solution for South Africa and we all need to be supporting local innovation and sustainable job creation to get through the economic challenge ahead.
With anticipated loadshedding and the increase in electricity prices as of the 1st April (not an April Fool’s Joke unfortunately) local sustainable solutions is becoming the preferred choice of South Africans. This call for local products was evident in 2015 as Microcare manufactured over 5 000 Inverters which were installed into South African homes and businesses contributing an incredible 16MW of Peak Capacity relieving the strain on the grid.
Another stand out at the Solar Show was the flood of overseas products. As one MD of an international PV manufacturer said: ‘Every 2nd stand is selling PV panels and wholesalers have every brand of Inverter and product they can get their hands on.’ It’s understandable. Perhaps a sign of the times and the over capitalisation made in 2015 with solar experts at the show predicting that the industry is becoming too reliant on the emotional buying of the public rather than on sustainability and the bigger picture mindset that is needed on the continent and in South Africa.
History has shown that in challenging times it’s the entrepreneurs and innovators who will thrive and drive an economy out of trouble. So what if the solutions to our energy and economic crisis were in the hands of South Africans? What if the policies created by our leaders and municipalities benefitted local innovation? If you could buy it locally would you?
To not let a sector become a victim of the economic times comes through the integrity of the industry and its passion for its legacy. The Domestic Solar Industry is in danger of becoming a sell out to the next craze or has the potential to sell out the local innovation that provides a sustainable solution. Question is which do we choose?