EThekwini launches a nifty web-based interactive tool to determine solar rooftop feasibility

Another first for eThekwini - As part of the Durban Solar City Framework to stimulate PV uptake, the Durban Solar Map allows residents to calculate the financial viability of a PV installation on their roof.

The eThekwini Municipality’s Energy Office is involved in a plethora of Renewable Energy projects, such as the Energy Office Solar (EOS) Project – the installation of PV on eThekwini Municipal owned roofs - and Wind re-powering – the installation of wind turbines within eThekwini Municipality.

However, the municipality has only very limited resources to fund renewable energy installations. Significant reductions of greenhouse gas emissions can only be achieved if residents and companies invest into renewable energy. These investments need to be leveraged through strategic initiatives of the municipality. Based on this logic the eThekwini Energy Office has developed the ‘Durban Solar City Framework’. The programme aims to initiate and coordinate interventions that promote the uptake of decentralised PV. The Durban Solar City Framework consists of a number of sub-projects, such as:
1. Making solar affordable for residents and business;
2. Updating and enforcing local rules and regulations;
3. Improving local grid policies and processes; and
4. Educating and empowering residents.

A key component of Educating and empowering residents is the Durban Solar Map which is a web-based interactive tool that allows residents to calculate the financial viability of a PV installation on their roof based on solar irradiation and other data. The process to utilise the map is fairly simple, all residents need to do is to enter their property address, identify their specific property and draw on their roof the specific area they want to install PV (ideally north facing). Basic technical and financial information will automatically be calculated based on the area drawn. It is important to note that this tool will only work within the eThekwini Municipal Area. However the underlying programme can be easily adapted by other Municipalities in South Africa.

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