Sun Exchange community call - Impact

Published: 31 May 2021

The latest Sun Exchange Community Call was focused on exploring the positive impact you, the Sun Exchange community, are having on our planet. Our company vision is for everyone in the world to own enough solar cells to offset their carbon footprint. And while we still have some work to do in order to get there, it was a proud moment to reflect on what has been achieved by the community so far.

“You really understand how integrated humans are with our planet. The actions we take have an impact on the planet and vice versa.“

- Abe Cambridge, Sun Exchange Founder & CEO

Solar energy is one of the simplest ways to develop energy infrastructure and expand energy access while also reducing carbon emissions. This is especially true in South Africa, where most Sun Exchange projects are currently located, as it is the ideal location for solar with high solar radiation and long, sunny days. In fact, South Africa averages more than 2,500 hours of sunshine per year, which averages between 4.5 and 6.5 kWh per square meter in one day. To put that into perspective, a single U.S. household uses roughly 11 kWh per day.

Solar energy is further compounded in South Africa by the fact that the current existing electricity mix is very carbon heavy and dirty, with the majority of it coming from low-grade coal. South Africa is one of the biggest global emitters of carbon dioxide, with 471 million metric tonnes of carbon emitted in 2019. The country relies heavily on dirty coal to fire up its 30,000 MW of electricity. Globally, that number is 4.8 tonnes per capita, per year.

"For every kWh of solar energy produced in South Africa, you’re offsetting 1.03 kgs of carbon dioxide"

- Abe Cambridge

To offset this amount, Sun Exchange members would need to produce 4.88 kWh of energy per year. In the upcoming Nhimbe Fresh Phase 2 project, for example, the average person would need to purchase 750 solar cells to offset their carbon for the year. This would make their year one energy yield: 4887 kWh. If you missed the community call and want to learn more about the impact of owning solar cells in Sun Exchange projects, check out the recording below.