Could solar powered street and traffic lights be the answer to many South Africans going through the frustrations of load shedding?
As a way of avoiding cable theft during the day, street lights in some parts of the country are often left on to keep the cables live. This, however, uses up a lot of electricity, at a time where conservation is crucial. There have been instances in some countries where solar powered street lights have been used to ease pressure from the electricity grid.
Greg Walton is the owner and Director of miSolar, a Cape Town based company that manufactures solar powered street lights. This company exports their products to the DRC, Zambia, Botswana, Zimbabwe and Zanzibar. The street lights are designed from local components to make them more conducive to African conditions as opposed to imports from China, which they did when they started. According to Walton, miSolar street lights are mostly bought by private companies to be used in large parking areas or by private buyers:
We don’t supply to government at all. South Africa has been a little bit slower than most Southern African countries because we had a decent electricity supply