The Solar Show Africa is Africa’s largest solar exhibition. The show welcomes over 8000 attendees from all over Africa and the rest of the world. It is co-located with Power & Electricity World Africa, and one of Africa’s largest and longest running power and energy events. The show was recently held at the Sandton Convention Centre and ran from 27th to 28th March 2018.
The show was well exhibited and well attended albeit under muted enthusiasm due to the 2 ½ delay in signing off the latest Rounds of renewable energy projects by Eskom in South Africa. The signing of the 27 projects from Rounds 3.5 and 4 have been further delayed by a court interdict hearing brought on by NUMSA, a trade union representing metal workers in the country.
That aside, the big buzz at the show was ‘energy storage systems’ now that the battery technology options have become cost effective. The exhibition also showcased solar panel and inverter manufacturers plus EPC contractors, developers and consulting engineers. The cable and combiner box suppliers, measurement and control systems suppliers plus the latest in metering and billing were also on show. Service providers included financiers, law firms, and consulting engineers.
International industry players like Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems Africa (Pty) Ltd, ABB, GE, Barloworld Power, Siemens, MTU, Voith, IBM, Mott Macdonald, Solar World Africa, Vestas, and SMA were all in attendance.
One notable newcomer to the show was Risen Energy, a Tier 1 solar panel manufacturer from Shenzhen in China. A listed company, Risen set themselves apart from competitors by offering and 12 year factory warranty on their panels. Risen are upbeat on the prospects in South Africa and believe the recent NUMSA interdict is a temporary setback. ‘Once the 27 projects are signed off in South Africa, the positive news is bound to send a wave of good sentiment regarding renewables throughout the SADC region’ says Romain Buisine, Project Development Manager for Risen.
Terrapinn once again delivered a high quality exhibition with exhibitors simultaneously showcasing their products and services through a series of ongoing discussions and presentations. Terrapin have been sparking ideas, innovations, and relationships that transform business for over 30 years. Using their global footprint, they bring innovators, disrupters and change agents together. Those in attendance took value from the latest technology on show and are sure to be back next year.
Author: Bryan Groenendaal