South Africa’s sluggish economy can largely be attributed to power supply constraints but the team at Riversands Incubation Hub-based i-G3N is very bullish that the country will be adopting renewable energy at a much faster rate this year to help stimulate growth.
i-G3N has developed technology to assemble and distribute lithium-iron batteries which are extremely cost-effective over the life cycle of the battery, lasting up to three times longer than the lead-acid alternative. While upfront costs are slightly higher (and progressively decreasing), lithium-iron batteries are largely maintenance-free and maintain their efficiency over the full life cycle. They are rechargeable by solar, wind or grid power and are smaller and more aesthetically pleasing than traditional batteries. According to a study published early in January by HIS Markit, the international solar market is predicted to grow by 14% this year as the world recognises the sustainable energy imperative.
“The world is moving towards mass adoption of lithium batteries and applications range from utility-scale batteries down to electric mobility. The i-Node energy storage system produced by i-G3N is high quality, robust and cost-effective. We anticipate good growth for this year, particularly after June, when we’ll produce more components locally, giving us an additional revenue stream. This coupled with the uncertain energy scenario we face means that our storage solution is in high demand,” said Sydney Phakathi, director of i-G3N.
“We believe that South Africa will also be able to create jobs by looking at core components which will support local minerals beneficiation for the renewables industry. As much as renewables are a threat to the coal mining industry, they also present a great opportunity for the manganese, iron and platinum miners.
“Power security is the cornerstone of economic growth and will influence the growth of most third world countries. Our market is influenced by our local power scenario, carbon emissions, electric mobility, and the fourth industrial revolution,” he concluded.