South Africa Solar Photovoltaic (PV) Market - Growth, Trends, COVID-19 Impact, and Forecasts (2021 - 2026)

The South Africa Solar Photovoltaic (PV) Market is segmented by Type (Crystalline Silicon and Thin Film), End User (Residential, Commercial & Industrial (C&I), and Utility), and Deployment (Ground-mounted and Rooftop).

Market Snapshot

South Africa Solar Photovoltaic (PV) Market - Market Summary
Study Period: 2018- 2026
Base Year: 2020
CAGR: >10 %

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Market Overview

The South African solar photovoltaic (PV) market is expected to register a CAGR of over 10% during the forecast period of 2021 - 2026, reaching an installed capacity of more than 3.6 GW by 2026, up from 1.48 GW in 2019. After the outbreak of COVID-19, the market for solar power in the country witnessed a slight slowdown in terms of low demand for small-scale solar projects and low investments in large-scale solar projects in Q1 and Q2 2020.​ Despite the travel restrictions and supply chain disruptions, the solar PV installed capacity in 2020 grew by 37% compared to the previous year's value. This huge growth in 2020 can be attributed to large-scale solar PV projects that were commissioned in that year. In addition to this, declining solar PV modules and associated system costs coupled with supportive government policies are expected to drive the market studied during the forecast period. On the flip side, increasing competition from alternative renewable energy sources such as onshore wind power, small-hydropower, and bioenergy is expected to restrain the market growth during the forecast period.

  • The rooftop segment is expected to witness significant during the forecast period, owing to supportive government initiatives and upcoming rooftop installation projects in the country, majorly in the commercial & industrial (C&I) segment.
  • Due to increasing power outages in the country leading to the electricity crisis and increasing demand for continuous power, several opportunities are expected for the market players in South Africa to full-in the supply and demand gap.
  • The government policies and increased investments in solar PV projects to increase the installed solar PV capacity of the country in the coming years.

Scope of the Report

The South African solar photovoltaic (PV) market report includes:

Crystalline Silicon
Thin Film
End User
Commercial & Industrial (C&I)

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Key Market Trends

Rooftop Installation to Witness Significant Growth

  • Although utility-scale solar PV projects have gained a significant share in the market studied, small-scale rooftop solar PV systems represent an important part of the market. Moreover, rooftop solar offers the benefits of modern electricity services to households that had no access to electricity, reducing electricity costs, in turn, driving the market in South Africa.
  • The GreenCape Smart Electricity project has focused efforts to create an enabling environment for rooftop PV and other small-scale embedded generation (SSEG) technologies in the Western Cape, which may lead to the installation of more than 200MW of rooftop installations in WC in the upcoming year.
  • Rooftop solar PV systems can revolutionize the energy system in South Africa. It is technically and economically feasible to install more than 11 GW of solar PV on residential rooftops in the metropolitan municipalities of South Africa by 2030. Due to the declining costs of solar power and associated systems for many consumer groups, it is preferable to produce PV electricity on rooftops instead of purchasing it from ESKOM or the municipalities.
  • Moreover, rooftop solar systems generate electricity during daylight, coinciding with the peak hours of most factory operations. Hence, while the sun is out, manufacturing facilities have the option to either limit their dependence on the national grid or abandon it completely. Hence, with the increased use of rooftop solar PV modules, the market is expected to the fastest-growing during the forecast period.
South Africa Solar Photovoltaic (PV) Market Share(%), by Deployment , 2019

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Government Policies and Increasing Investments to Drive the Market

  • Solar energy is the most readily accessible resource in South Africa, with an average of more than 2,500 hours of sunshine per year. The country’s average solar-radiation level ranges between 4.5 and 6.5kWh/m2 per day.
  • Until the launch of the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producers Program (REIPPP) in 2011, the solar energy sector was virtually non-existent. However, after the start of the program, the installed capacity for solar PV reached more than 30% of the total renewable energy in 2018.
  • Under REIPPP, the country aims to install 8,400 MW generation capacity of solar PV by 2030, enough to provide energy to 1.5 million households. In addition, the country also plans to install 18 GW of solar PV by 2050.
  • However, the market is expected to rise as Eskom, South Africa's state power utility is planning to sign several renewable energy projects with private producers. These projects are expected to add 2,305 MW of green power, including mostly solar and wind. This is expected to increase investment for solar PV manufacturers, which, in turn, is expected to drive the market for solar PV during the forecast period.
South Africa Solar Photovoltaic (PV) Market - Installed Capacity

Competitive Landscape

The South African solar photovoltaic (PV) market is moderately fragmented. Some of the major players operating in the market include Canadian Solar Inc, Enel SpA, JinkoSolar Holding Co., and JA Solar Holdings.

Recent Developments

  • In April 2020, Scatec Solar announced that it has, along with its partners, grid-connected and started commercial operation of the third 86 MW solar plant in Upington, South Africa, completing the 258 MW solar power complex. The 86 MW facility, known as Dyason’s Klip 2, is expected to produce 217 GWh annually.
  • In September 2020, South Africa’s solar industry welcomed new government plans to purchase 6.8 GW of additional renewables from independent power producers as of 2022 but warned that an “urgent response” is needed to tackle the country’s ongoing energy crisis. The country's energy ministry revealed that the country is looking to buy a total of 11,813 MW of new generation capacity by 2027, the majority solar and wind, with all electricity to be purchased by state utility Eskom following a tendering process.

Table of Contents


    1. 1.1 Scope of the Study

    2. 1.2 Market Definition

    3. 1.3 Study Assumptions




    1. 4.1 Introduction

    2. 4.2 Renewable Energy Mix, 2019

    3. 4.3 Solar Photovoltaic (PV) Installed Capacity and Forecast in GW, till 2026

    4. 4.4 Recent Trends and Developments

    5. 4.5 Government Policies and Regulations

    6. 4.6 Market Dynamics

      1. 4.6.1 Drivers

      2. 4.6.2 Restraints

    7. 4.7 Supply Chain Analysis

    8. 4.8 PESTLE Analysis


    1. 5.1 Type

      1. 5.1.1 Crystalline Silicon

      2. 5.1.2 Thin Film

    2. 5.2 End User

      1. 5.2.1 Residential

      2. 5.2.2 Commercial & Industrial (C&I)

      3. 5.2.3 Utility

    3. 5.3 Deployment

      1. 5.3.1 Ground-mounted

      2. 5.3.2 Rooftop


    1. 6.1 Mergers and Acquisitions, Joint Ventures, Collaborations, and Agreements

    2. 6.2 Strategies Adopted by Leading Players

    3. 6.3 Company Profiles

      1. 6.3.1 Canadian Solar Inc

      2. 6.3.2 Jinko Solar Holding Co. Ltd​

      3. 6.3.3 Trina Solar Limited​

      4. 6.3.4 ARTsolar (Pty) Ltd​

      5. 6.3.5 SunPower Corporation​

      6. 6.3.6 IBC Solar AG​

      7. 6.3.7 Seraphim Solar​

      8. 6.3.8 Engie SA​

      9. 6.3.9 Enel SPA​

      10. 6.3.10 Renenergy South Africa Pty Ltd​

      11. 6.3.11 JA Solar Holdings​

      12. 6.3.12 Energy Partners Solar (Pty) Ltd​

    4. *List Not Exhaustive

**Subject to Availability

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Frequently Asked Questions

The South Africa Solar Photovoltaic (PV) Market market is studied from 2018 - 2026.

The South Africa Solar Photovoltaic (PV) Market is growing at a CAGR of >10% over the next 5 years.

Canadian Solar Inc, Enel Green Power S.p.A, JinkoSolar Holding Co, JA Solar Holdings are the major companies operating in South Africa Solar Photovoltaic (PV) Market.

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