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South African facilities eye solar to solve energy woes

Image: U.S. Department of the Interior [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Renewables could help create operational stability at radio astronomy and medical radiocarbon facilities

National research facilities in South Africa say they are looking at alternative power sources to protect them against the country’s persistent rolling blackouts.

The system of rolling blackouts, called loadshedding, is intended to protect the integrity of the national grid when generating supply does not meet demand. Since September, it’s been an almost daily occurrence—and for the past few weeks outages have struck for as many as 10 hours a day.

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