Solar panel
Knowledge base

South Africa’s renewable energy transition comes with Tax benefits

Load shedding has become a recurring nightmare for South Africans. Recent reports of an impending Stage 8 load shedding have raised serious concerns for the current winter season of 2023, with July and August expected to demand more electricity from the already struggling power utility. As multiple media sources, including News 24, BusinessTech, Business Day, and IOL, confirm the alarming news, it is crucial for consumers and business owners to understand the grave threat it poses to the economy. This article will delve into the possibility of Stage 8 and further discuss how the government is rewarding those who implement renewable solutions.

The Threat of Stage 8 Load Shedding

On the 8th of May 2023, the Electricity Minister Kgosientsho Ramokgopa was on the SABC Morning Live programme and had said that during winter there is usually a high energy demand of between 34GW and 37GW, making the electricity system fragile during colder months. Ramokgopa further confirmed that load shedding at stage 7 or even 8 is possible and that the next 150 days are going to be “very tough”.

Electricity Minister Kgosientsho Ramokgopa, centre, on a tour of one of Eskom’s power stations. Image: GCIS

This stage of load shedding signifies a severe shortage of electricity supply in South Africa, leading to extended and frequent power outages. Stage 8 is set to leave South Africans without power for at least twelve hours per day, with 8000 MW to be shed, and up to six 2-hour cuts per day, or 3 four-hour cuts, depending on the schedule in particular areas. This will in turn leave severe implications for various sectors of the economy. South African consumers and business owners will unfortunately have to brace themselves for disrupted operations, decreased productivity, financial losses, and compromised livelihoods.

The Knock-on Effects on Multiple Sectors

The ramifications of Stage 8 load shedding can be disastrous for South Africa’s economy. Sectors heavily reliant on electricity, such as manufacturing, mining, agriculture, and healthcare, will suffer the most. Diminished productivity, disrupted supply chains, increased costs, and potential job losses are just a few of the challenges these sectors will face. Additionally, consumers will experience prolonged inconveniences, affecting daily routines, essential services, and overall quality of life.

The Urgent Need for Renewable Energy Transition

In South Africa, the promotion of renewable energy sources has become increasingly vital in addressing the country’s energy challenges and transitioning towards a sustainable future. To mitigate the adverse effects of load shedding and secure a resilient future, South African consumers and business owners should consider transitioning to renewable energy sources, particularly solar power. Solar energy provides a reliable and sustainable solution to the unreliable electricity supply and reduces dependency on the national grid.

Rewards of Solar Energy Adoption

To encourage investment in renewable energy projects, including solar energy, the South African government has introduced the Section 12B tax-deductible investment scheme.
Section 12B of the South African Income Tax Act provides tax incentives for individuals and businesses that invest in certain qualifying renewable energy projects. This provision allows investors to claim accelerated capital allowances on their investment, resulting in reduced taxable income and increased cash flow.

a.) Solar Energy and Section 12B
Solar energy, as a clean and renewable source, perfectly aligns with the objectives of the Section 12B tax-deductible investment. By investing in solar projects, individuals and businesses can benefit from the tax incentives while contributing to the country’s transition to sustainable energy.

b.) Tax Benefits of Section 12B

  • Accelerated Depreciation
    Under Section 12B, investors can claim an accelerated depreciation allowance on their investment in solar energy assets. This means they can deduct a larger portion of the investment cost from their taxable income over a shorter period, reducing their overall tax liability.
  • Increased Cash Flow
    The accelerated depreciation allows for immediate tax savings, enhancing cash flow for investors. This additional capital can be reinvested in the business, expanding operations, or furthering renewable energy initiatives.
  • Risk Mitigation
    The tax benefits provided by Section 12B mitigate investment risks by enhancing the financial viability of solar energy projects. This incentivizes more individuals and businesses to participate in the renewable energy sector, fostering its growth and contributing to job creation.

c.) Environmental Benefits:
Investing in solar energy not only offers financial advantages, but also significant environmental benefits:

  • Reduced Carbon Footprint: Solar energy is a clean and sustainable source, reducing reliance on fossil fuels and minimising greenhouse gas emissions. By harnessing solar power, investors actively contribute to mitigating climate change and preserving the environment.
  • Energy Independence: Solar energy provides a decentralised and reliable power source, reducing dependence on the national grid. This ensures a more resilient and self-sufficient energy supply, particularly in areas prone to blackouts.
  • Sustainability: Solar energy is infinitely renewable and abundant in South Africa, making it a sustainable solution for meeting the country’s energy needs. By embracing solar power, investors contribute to a greener and more sustainable future for generations to come.

Solar energy systems provide long-term cost savings, improve sustainability credentials, and contribute to a cleaner environment. They also come with multiple financing solutions. The government offers various incentives, grants, and tax benefits to support the transition to renewable energy, making solar power an attractive and viable option. As South Africa faces the imminent threat of Stage 8 load shedding, transitioning to solar and other renewable energy sources becomes imperative for consumers and business owners. Protect your business operations, mitigate financial losses, and contribute to a more sustainable, secure future.

For more information please visit the South African Government National Treasury website.


Knowledge Base

Happy with our content? There's more! Our knowledge base is filled with all kinds of articles with information about solar panels, taxes, garantuees and more. We already selected some nice articles for you.
cards knowhow icon icon
Top 10 Benefits of Solar Energy in South Africa
In South Africa, businesses, including commercial and corporate enterprises, face the challenge of unreliable electricity supply. This is how solar energy can fix it.
cards knowhow icon icon
The impact of load shedding on the agriculture sector
The National Energy Regulator of South Africa (NERSA) has agreed to increase electricity prices by 18.65%, effective from 1 April 2023.
cards knowhow icon icon
What is the solar panel Peak Power?
When opting for solar purchase or solar lease, then the term Peak Power comes around all of the time. What are we talking about when discussing the Peak Power of solar panels?