Energy & Power

How Can South Africa Implement Smart Grids? International Best Practice and Case Studies

The South African electricity market is strained. The implementation of smart grids will help alleviate many of the problems the country is facing. This research service gives a comprehensive analysis of international best practice and case studies of smart grid projects that have been implemented, and tells how South Africa can learn from them. The research covers drivers and restraints that will affect growth of the South African market and major focus areas for project success.
Published: 15 May 2012

This Frost & Sullivan research titled How Can South Africa Implement Smart Grids? International Best Practice and Case Studies provides an in depth discussion of smart grid projects that have been implemented in five different international locations, including USA, Europe and Asia Pacific, and an analysis of the key lessons learnt from the implementation of these projects. The study covers the drivers and restraints that will affect the growth of the South African smart grid market and major focus areas for project success.

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Market Overview

Lessons from International Deployments to Guide South Africa in its Smart Grid Plans

Implementation of smart grids in South Africa will be motivated by the low reserve margin on the country’s electricity generation capacity, the need for a more efficient grid with less disruptions, an increase in the electricity price, and the consumers’ need for an efficient method of electricity consumption management and the IRP 2010. From observing existing smart grid deployments across the world, South Africa hopes to avoid their mistakes and find the most suitable model for its needs.

Valuable lessons learnt include the need for a technology assessment and detailed project implementation plan. This will ensure that the project can be completed on time and within budget. Robust and evenly weighted selection criteria should be used to select the best partners and technology. It is also important to have a clearly mapped-out project plan in order to know what skill sets are required for different sections of the project.

Further, the implementation of the technology should be followed by an active campaign to educate consumers regarding the benefits it will have to them. It is important that any expected increases in electricity prices be communicated clearly to the consumer. Technicians should be properly trained and supervised in order to ensure that meters are installed correctly. It is also imperative that an active and efficient customer support system be set up to address customers’ needs and prevent any frustration.


The following technologies are covered in this research:

  • Advanced Meter Infrastructure

  • Demand Response

  • Distribution Grid Management

  • High Voltage Transmission

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