Solar power is being harnessed to brew SA beer – fighting load shedding, reducing CO2

Business Insider SA

solar beer south africa
Alrode Brewery (Image: SOLA Group)
  • South African Breweries wants 100% of its electricity to come from renewable sources by 2025.
  • Castle Lite’s latest marketing campaign says this is to avoid the disruptive impact of load shedding.
  • In the first eight months of 2021, the breweries generated more than 9.7GWh of renewable electricity, leading to a reduction of 9,443 tons of CO2 emissions.
  • For more stories, go to

The recent bout of load shedding has seen the South African Breweries’ (SAB) reiterate its plan to draw 100% of its electricity from renewable sources by 2025.

In addition to lessening the load on the already overwhelmed national grid, the breweries’ target will see a reduction in CO2 emissions.

SAB and holding company Anheuser-Busch InBev (AB InBev) launched its renewable energy programme in 2020 with a solar power system installation at its Chamdor Brewery in Krugersdorp. Since then, it has rolled out solar projects at all seven breweries in South Africa. Alrode brewery in Johannesburg also makes use of bio-gas facilities.

solar beer south africa
Chamdor Brewery (Image: SOLA Group)

In a new campaign, coinciding with the most recent bout of load shedding, Castle Lite shows almost half of its production is being powered by solar energy. This equates to 1.2GWh of renewable energy generated every month, enough to power 48 international football matches or stream Netflix for 500,000 days.

In the first eight months of 2021, SAB generated more than 9.7GWh of renewable electricity, leading to a reduction of 9,443 tons of CO2 emissions. Achieving the 2025 Sustainability Goals in climate action and cutting its reliance on Eskom’s volatile grid are both important factors in SAB’s move towards renewables.

“Our consumers can do their bit by choosing a beer that is not only hugely enjoyable and super refreshing, but is also reducing its load on the national power supply with its production, ensuring there is more to go around. Meaning more enjoyment,” said Castle Lite Brand Director, Colleen Duvenage, in a statement last week.

solar beer south africa
iBhayi Brewery (Image: SOLA Group)

To meet its target of 100% renewable energy by 2025, AB InBev will require solar renewable energy facilities to the total of 191 MW generated through more than 23,000 panels.

This forms part of a multi-tiered Power Purchase Agreements (PPA) between AB InBev Africa and SOLA Group, which secured R400 million in funding from the African Infrastructure Investment Managers (AIIM) and Nedbank. The deal sees AB InBev Africa purchasing its power from SOLA.

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