The world is witnessing unprecedented changes in its climate, with extreme weather events becoming more frequent and intense. Recently, there was unprecedented flooding in New York city, with floodwaters rising to a staggering 1 metre above street level. This calamity closely followed the devastating storms and floods in the Western Cape on the weekend of 23rd Sept, which BBC recently reported claimed 11 lives and destroyed multiple bridges and roads. In April last year, flooding in Durban was termed “the most catastrophic natural disaster yet recorded in KwaZulu-Natal”. Such events are not isolated incidents but indicators of a larger, more pressing issue – the climate crisis. Add to this the wildfires that have been ravaging the planet, more recently in Canada and previously in Australia, it is becoming clear the climate is already changing.
The Fragility of the Local Distribution Grid
As the climate continues to change, the infrastructure that we have long depended on is showing signs of strain. Local electricity distribution grids, which have been the backbone of delivering electricity locally, are projected to become increasingly unstable. The reasons are manifold: from increasing natural disasters like floods, fires, and storms to human-induced challenges such as electricity and cable theft, vandalism of infrastructure (which caused the recent Pretoria East power outage due to collapsed transmission towers), poorly maintained substations and loadshedding adding strain to distribution equipment. In addition, the possibility of a national blackout looms large, a scenario that could plunge South Africa into darkness and chaos for an estimated three weeks. When the time comes that the local electricity shuts off for multiple days, you don’t want to be left in the dark.
The Role of South Africans in Shaping a Sustainable Future
While the challenges are significant, they are not insurmountable. Every electricity consumer has a role to play in shaping a more sustainable future. One of the most impactful ways to do so is by reducing our reliance on Eskom’s electricity, which is not only unreliable and increasingly expensive, but also environmentally detrimental. South Africa is currently the second-largest producer of “dirty” electricity in the world per capita, surpassed only by China. This is due to 80% of our electricity coming from coal power and diesel fired turbines. By continuing to rely on such sources, we are not only jeopardising our immediate environment but also contributing to the global climate crisis.
Leading the Way in Sustainable Energy Solutions
In these trying times, solutions that are both sustainable and reliable are the need of the hour. The good news is that South Africans have options and options that are easy to access and implement. Once such option is a unique solar-as-a-service subscription by Hohm Energy, South Africa’s solar marketplace platform, in partnership with Glint. By choosing solar as a subscription, South Africans are not only guaranteed renewable electricity when the grid is down, but it also significantly reduces their carbon footprint, making a positive contribution to the environment. Those who are moving to solar as a subscription are making a statement – a commitment to a greener, more sustainable future.
Solar energy, being a clean and renewable source, is the future of electricity. It not only reduces our dependence on fossil fuels but also ensures that we leave a healthier planet for future generations.
The climate crisis is a stark reminder of the need to rethink our choices and priorities. As the world grapples with the challenges posed by changing weather patterns and an unstable electricity grid, solutions like solar subscriptions offer a way forward. It’s time for each one of us to do our part, embrace sustainable energy solutions, and pave the way for a brighter, greener future.