Consumer savings through solar PV self-consumption in South Africa

The study quan­ti­fies the expen­di­ture sav­ings that may be achieved by res­i­den­tial and com­mer­cial con­sumers in South Africa when installing rooftop solar pho­to­volta­ic (PV) sys­tems with the aim of con­sum­ing most of the result­ing elec­tric­i­ty direct­ly (hence­forth termed self-con­sump­tion). The analy­sis is based on sce­nar­ios for the future devel­op­ment of PV, includ­ing bat­tery costs, the evo­lu­tion of the retail elec­tric­i­ty price and poten­tial mod­i­fi­ca­tions to rate design (e.g., the intro­duc­tion of demand charges). The study fur­ther analy­ses the uptake of PV and PV+Battery sys­tems with­in these two con­sumer class­es in South Africa up to 2030.




Key policy opportunities:

Pol­i­cy oppor­tu­ni­ty 1: South Africa has a tremen­dous poten­tial for rooftop solar PV. In the met­ro­pol­i­tan munic­i­pal­i­ties alone, rooftop solar PV has an eco­nom­ic poten­tial of 15 GW between now and 2030.

Pol­i­cy oppor­tu­ni­ty 2: South African house­holds and busi­ness­es can save mon­ey by invest­ing in solar: annu­al sav­ings for the res­i­den­tial sec­tor alone sum up to around R12.8 billion.

Pol­i­cy oppor­tu­ni­ty 3: In order to ben­e­fit from PV self-con­sump­tion in South Africa, it is cru­cial to estab­lish attrac­tive Small Scale Embed­ded Gen­er­a­tion (SSEG) rates, to man­ag­ing and fore­cast­ing the future uptake of self-con­sump­tion at munic­i­pal and nation­al lev­el and to estab­lish incen­tives for low-income house­holds to become prosumers.



Year of pub­li­ca­tion: 2019

Edi­tors: Ayo­de­ji Okun­lo­la, David Jacobs, Ntomb­i­futhi Ntuli, Ruan Fourie, Lau­ra Nagel and Sebas­t­ian Hel­gen­berg­er – IASS Pots­dam, CSIR and IET

Tech­ni­cal imple­men­ta­tion: Mamahloko Sen­at­la, Lehl­o­gono­lo Chiloane, Unar­ine Mudau and Raj Naidoo – Coun­cil for Sci­en­tif­ic and Indus­tri­al Research (CSIR), Ener­gy Research Cen­tre and Uni­ver­si­ty of Pre­to­ria, Smart grids research group, South Africa

Sug­gest­ed cita­tion: IASS/CSIR. Con­sumer sav­ings through solar PV self-con­sump­tion in South Africa. Assess­ing the co-ben­e­fits of decar­bon­is­ing the pow­er sec­tor. Potsdam/Pretoria: IASS/CSIR, 2019.

DOI: 10.2312/iass.2019.007


This study is part of a 2019 series of four stud­ies assess­ing the co-ben­e­fits of decar­bon­is­ing the pow­er sec­tor in South Africa, edit­ed by IASS and CSIR: