An analysis conducted by the CSIR Energy Centre outlines significant potential to create thousands of fulltime jobs and to nurture hundreds of small enterprises by supporting the deployment of small-scale embedded generation (SSEG) plants. An Engineering News report notes that the centre estimates that SA’s installed base of SSEG plants, mostly in the form of rooftop solar installations, has grown to above 400 MW from close to zero 10 years ago. This growth has coincided with a steep rise in SA’s electricity tariffs over the period and a similarly steep fall in the cost of solar photovoltaic (PV) modules. Between 2007 and 2017, the average electricity tariff in SA increased by 384%, while solar PV technology costs fell by more than 530%. CSIR Energy Centre head Dr Clinton Carter-Brown reported last week that its research pointed to there being a total of 387 MW of SSEG capacity installed in SA by the end of 2017. Another 150 MW to 200 MW was likely to have been added last year alone, spurred partly by a return to load-shedding by Eskom during the year. Addressing a Nedbank and EE Publishers energy seminar in Johannesburg, Carter-Brown said continued SSEG growth would not only help ease SA’s current supply-side constraints, but could also have material employment and enterprise-development spinoffs.