Total installed capacity May 2016

This short report considers the following data:

  1. The growth of PV installed capacity data by comparing the total installed capacity during March with the total capacity during the Month of May 2016 (as per data submitted to
  2. the installation data of only 2 companies involved in the solar PV industry. For purposes of anonymity it was decided not to disclose the names of the respective organisations.

Section 1:

Graph 2 The growth of PV installed capacity data for South Africa does not reflect the actual growth of the sector nor is it indicative of the continuous rate of installations; but rather reflect the rate at which installations are being submitted and information on installed capacity is being made available for statistical purposes. Section 2 provides evidence of this phenomena as the data submitted by the installers date back to installations done during 2013 onwards for the respective installers and all installations submitted do not just reflect installations done during the last couple of months alone.

Section 2:

Installation data of the aforementioned two companies indicate the number of solar PV systems installed in the respective years from 2013 on-wards.
Company B is based in Gauteng, company A in the Eastern Cape. Total installed capacity for the 216 installations are 1594kWh or rounded at 1,5MW.
Average System sizes varied from Gauteng Province showing a higher average system size for Company B at around 10,15kWp per installation and company A with 5,5kWp per installation(this value was derived by taking the total generation capacity for each company respectively, divided by the total number of installations submitted.

solar pv growth trends May 2016
Graph 1 shows the nr. of solar PV systems installed per annum by each company and reflects the following visible trends by comparing data:

  1. 2014 to 2015 shows the impact of load-shedding on the solar PV industry. Sudden growth in demand and an unnatural growth in the number of installations for both companies.
  2. 2015 to 2016 a sudden decline in the number of installations are apparent due to grid stability.
  3. 2014 to 2016 we can still see continuous growth for both companies based on figures submitted for the first quarter installations for 2016 when the figures for the 1st quarter is compared to 1st quarter installations for 2015 and a margin of sustainable growth is forecasted.
  4. 2017 was added to indicate a trend with an allocated 10-15% growth respectively on 2016 figures.
  5. The green and blue lines included on the graph are linear trend lines reflecting continuous growth for both companies.


A total of 216 installations were submitted in which the following equipment was used:

179 installations had modules included as part of the installation, 37 were purely backup installations without any modules included.

Types of modules used in the installations were:

Table 1 Module Brands used

Brands of inverters used in these installations:

In SA there are now more than 72 different Brands of inverters being used, of these 72 brands available, the two companies included in this report have opted to use the following brands in solar & backup installations:

Table 2 Inverter brands used


Of the 216 systems submitted, 97 indicated the type and size of battery used in the installation, this however is not an indication of the total number of systems submitted that included storage but only the instances where data on storage was made available by company A & B.

Preferred storage with the respective installers; based on the data submitted, AGM and Gel was the preferred type of battery with 50% of installations comprising AGM and 50% comprising Gel. The average storage capacity per installation was 16,5kW.

Large vs small: 

Max storage capacity for the 97 installations were 1 x 147kW system as largest system submitted and less than 2kW as the smallest system submitted.

Graph 3 Storage sizes per installation