A variety of factors can influence sales of solar PV systems and with this report an attempt has been made to estimate the impact of load-shedding on the sales of solar systems.
Sales growth can be organic or synthetic;
- Organic growth is usually a period of stable and consistent growth seen during periods where users and consumers of electricity gradually buy into a technology. Organic growth in South Africa has occurred mainly because of awareness of the technology and/or trust in a specific technology, coupled with the belief that the technology is proven and adds value. Growth patterns during periods of organic growth are usually consistent and stable as could be seen in the growth of the solar PV market in South Africa since 2016. Had the market only grown organically, growth would have been as is reflected in Graph ibr.5 in section 6 of this report.
- Synthetic growth is caused by sudden market fluctuations. Examples of market conditions that force synthetic growth are load-shedding cycles for the energy sector and the water crisis experienced by the Western Cape in 2018. These conditions force consumers to alter their normal way of life in order to sustain business and maintain expected standard of living. Synthetic growth is generally considered to be disruptive, as entrepreneurs identify sudden demands in a sector and invest into that demand without understanding the market drivers. This interim investment is often shortsighted as prices being charged for services are not market related and often delivered in the absence of industry related standards and benchmarks.
With load-shedding being re-introduced during 2018, new entrants into the energy market would have an impact on the sale of solar and energy related systems due to the synthetic demand being created. This report aims to estimate the impact of load-shedding cycles on the sales of solar PV systems.
Table of Contents
- Source data
- Historical impact on solar sales caused by load-shedding
- Projection methodology
- Module pricing & The Rand Dollar Exchange rate
- Projected growth in the absence of load-shedding
- Import data and sales for 2018
- Solar PV sales assumptions 2019
- Total Installed Capacity in South Africa as at end 2018
2. Source data
Data used in this report was combined with existing PQRS data, as well as, new data showing the volume of exports from China to South Africa. A simplified projection methodology can be seen under item 3.
Modules imported into South Africa from other countries such as India, the USA and parts of Europe may not have been included in this report. The volume of original data made it possible to expand the scope of the report to include sales for Solar PV systems in 5 African countries as indicated in Graph 4.
3. Historical impact on solar sales caused by load-shedding
Historic data indicates inflated growth in solar PV sales during periods of loadshedding. During the 2013/2014 period, South Afica saw intermittent loadshedding for a variety of reasons ranging from low dam levels in the Drakensburg to low coal-stockpiles. Other reasons cited in the media related to maintenance of Eskom generator plants. Graph 1 indicates the impact of load-shedding on solar PV sales when looking at three respective sectors in which the installations were done, being; Residential, Commercial / Industrial and Agricultural.