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EV boom green power game-changer

South AfricaGreen energyGreen industry

A Hong Kong-based solar solutions distributor sees bright prospects emerging from rising electric vehicle sales.


The global surge in renewable power installation, especially solar, resembles the revolutions brought by coal-fired steam in the mid-19th century and petrol-driven engines in the early 20th century.

The International Energy Agency (IEA) reported that the world added 510 GW of renewable power last year, three-quarters of which was PV solar, with Mainland China alone installing as much solar PV last year as the world did in 2022.

The world was on track to install 7,300 GW in renewables between last year and 2025. In comparison, Hong Kong’s power capacity, all sources, is 13.2 GW. The global surge in electric vehicle (EV) sales, which were up 34% worldwide last year, is also driving renewable demand.     

Mainland China produces the vast bulk of equipment associated with PV solar generation. Statista last year reported that solar module production has tripled since 2018.

The IEA also reports that just seven of the 54 countries in Africa can supply grid power to more than 80% of their populations. In South Africa alone, PV capacity jumped from 983 megawatts in March 2022 to 4.4 GW in June last year.

It is no surprise that there is a burgeoning trade in solar power products between Mainland China and Africa, with Hong Kong often arranging the deals.

Exhibitors at last year’s Eco Expo Asia, arranged by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council, included many suppliers of PV equipment and solutions. These included an inverter producer, which puts together solution modules, with South Africa the top market, but the firm also exports to Europe and worldwide.

Sunsynk Director of Global Tech David Drake anticipated demand for their systems would increase massively across the world, as the proportion of EVs grew rapidly, increasing demand for renewable power charging and storage systems in homes and businesses.

In addition to EV charging, Mr Drake anticipates the microgrid market taking off strongly. Microgrids comprise a contiguous group of houses and businesses sharing a single point of connection with the city or national grid.

 “In the United Kingdom, we are vigorously advocating for microgrid systems, particularly in the leisure sector. This is due to the uncapped and high costs of commercial electricity, and the shift in leisure homes away from using LPG as a heating fuel source.

“The growing popularity of electric vehicles has also escalated the demand for electricity. However, the current grid infrastructure of leisure parks is already at its peak capacity.”

Much of Sunsynk’s market has been residential units, either off grid or on grid, but allowing for back-up during blackouts and in situations where utilities raise charges at times of high demand. 

Germany is known as an early adopter of solar power, with residential commonplace years before they became widespread in sunnier countries, such as Australia. But Germany is also known as a nation of renters, with many households opting never to buy a home. This limits the number of homeowners wanting to install solar.

“Sunsynk is set to launch a new model in the German market that will cater to renters. This product's simplicity is such that it can be retailed and simply plugged into a wall socket,” Mr Drake said.

The industrial market, giving factories reliable and low-cost power, is also a key market for Sunsynk.

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