South Africa’s Solar Potential: Interview with Mohamed Madhi of Yellow Door Energy

August 30, 2022

The Solar Show Africa took place from August 23-24, 2022 in Johannesburg, South Africa and brought together renewable energy and power industry experts from across the continent. Over 6,000 attendees convened to share insights about innovation, investment and infrastructure for Africa.

We had the opportunity to interview Mohamed Madhi, country director for South Africa at Yellow Door Energy. In the interview, Madhi shared his in-depth insights on South Africa’s solar potential.

Congratulations on joining Yellow Door Energy! Could you please tell us more about yourself and your professional journey to-date?

Thank you!

I am from South Africa, currently based in Sandton. I started my career at Siemens as an engineer in the plant automation division. My journey in the energy industry began when I joined Eskom, the state utility, as a power station engineer. Over the years I have been actively involved in the transition towards renewable energy throughout most of the developing world.

Overall, I have close to three decades of professional experience in various industries including telecommunications, mining and energy.

Previously, I led WorleyParsons Energy business for Europe, Middle East and Africa. I was also the CEO of Areva Southern Africa, the Strategy Head at Harmony Gold, and the Capital Program Head at Eskom, Africa’s largest utility.

I am passionate about life-long learning and served as the Director at the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research in South Africa. I had the honor of leading President Mandela’s Task Team on Technology Risk Mitigation. I have also founded or led various innovative tech start-ups, including formerly Nasdaq-listed CellPoint Systems and Taqaco.

As for my educational background, I have an MBA from Newport University, and a Master’s degree in Engineering and a Bachelor in Engineering from the University of Cape Town in South Africa.

What does Yellow Door Energy do and what is your role there?

As the country director, my role is to establish the company’s presence in South Africa. I aim to help leading businesses in this country be as energy efficient and sustainable as possible. We are keen to contribute to the overall sustainability of the region both from an energy perspective as well as promoting social upliftment and local development.

Mohamed Madhi
Country Director, South Africa
Yellow Door Energy

Yellow Door Energy is the largest distributed solar developer for commercial & industrial businesses in the region. The company was founded in the UAE and now has presence in six markets including Jordan, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and now South Africa.

While solar power purchase agreements are an integral part of our offering, we also offer a variety of additional renewable energy solutions including hybrid plants with energy storage, heating and cooling solutions, waste heat recovery and energy efficiency programs.

As the country director, my role is to establish the company’s presence in South Africa. I aim to help leading businesses in this country be as energy efficient and sustainable as possible. We are keen to contribute to the overall sustainability of the region both from an energy perspective as well as promoting social upliftment and local development.

What services does Yellow Door Energy offer in South Africa?

We provide solar power purchase agreements for businesses which help them significantly lower electricity costs, improve power reliability and enhance their sustainability leadership.

A solar power purchase agreement is a long-term contract with a performance guarantee on the solar plant. There is no capital expense from the offtaker. The business would pay a monthly solar bill once the solar plant starts generating electricity.

In addition to the solar power purchase agreements, we also offer a variety of renewable energy solutions including hybrid plants with energy storage, green heating and cooling solutions, waste heat recovery, gas to power solutions and energy efficiency programs.

What are the main challenges and opportunities for distributed solar in South Africa?

…We are fortunate that our country has an abundance of sunshine, a highly motivated and educated workforce, as well as favorable government policies that were announced recently. These policies enable us to provide clean electricity to more businesses than ever before.

Mohamed Madhi
Country Director, South Africa
Yellow Door Energy

Businesses in South Africa face many energy-related challenges such as unreliable electricity supply, high tariffs and a lack of subsidies. However, we are fortunate that our country has an abundance of sunshine, a highly motivated and educated workforce, as well as favorable government policies that were announced recently.

These policies enable us to provide clean electricity to more businesses than ever before. In addition, our regulatory framework regarding independent power generation is amongst the most advanced in the developing world.

There is clearly great potential for solar in our country and I look forward to helping businesses switch to clean energy.

What types of businesses would benefit most from Yellow Door Energy’s services?

High electricity prices affect all businesses, particularly the commercial and industrial (C&I) sectors of the economy. The C&I businesses will be our initial focus.

Given our deep understanding of these sectors, we can provide very attractive and sustainable energy solutions to reduce or eliminate grid dependency.

Where can people get more information?

Please feel free to get in touch with us at gosolar@yellowdoorenergy.com or visit our website for more information.

I look forward to hearing from you!

Mohamed Madhi and the Yellow Door Energy team recently attended and spoke at the Solar Show Africa in Johannesburg. You can see some photos of the team below. Follow Yellow Door Energy on social media to view the event video highlights and more!


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