You already know all the benefits of having a solar power system for your home or business. But how much will it cost to buy such a system? This question has a number of implications. For instance, if your new solar power system isn’t saving you money, then what’s the point? But the fact is, solar power is not only more convenient, it’s actually a great way to save money.
Now before we can answer the question, “How much do solar panels cost in SA?” we must ask three important questions. The first pertains to how many solar panels you will need to power your particular building. The second is regarding all the other components needed to run the system. Finally, we must ask whether this is a worthwhile investment.
Let’s find out!
How large a building do you need to power?
An important factor to consider is how many solar panels you will need to harvest enough energy for your building. If you are running a full-scale factory, obviously you need a large number of solar panels to collect sufficient solar energy.
However, you may simply be considering a solar power system for your two-bedroom home. In such a case, fewer solar panels will be needed. It’s different for everyone. Find out from an expert how many panels and batteries are needed to power YOUR premises.
Are solar panels all you need?
Another thing to consider is that panels are not the only components to a solar power system. You will also need to factor in the cost of the inverter, and the batteries needed to store the energy. Remember that larger buildings may require larger—if not more—batteries than a smaller building.
Then there’s the cost of installation. You want to make sure it’s done right. A system that is not properly installed will prove useless and ultimately be a waste of money.
So you have to established how many solar panels you need, how much installation will cost, and how much all the other components will cost. Once you have all of these factors down, you can better answer your question.
Will this provide a viable return on investment?
Here’s something you may not know. Five years ago, it cost South Africans approximately R5.00 per kWh of photovoltaic (solar power) electricity—if you factor in installation and equipment costs. Eskom also charged about R0.50 for the same amount of grid energy during that period. For this reason, it wasn’t exactly a viable option for most of us.
But things have changed drastically since then. Today, solar power systems are way more accessible to the public. Eskom’s energy prices have now more than doubled, but the cost of solar power has dropped to 20% of what it used to be.
This has massive implications. Not only does solar energy now cost LESS than grid energy, but Eskom’s prices are ever increasing. It goes without saying that the next five years hold more price increases than we are prepared for. Solar energy is no longer a luxury, it’s a necessity.
So how much does one solar panel cost?
To answer our initial question, one solar panel can cost anywhere between R100 and R4 500 rand in South Africa. These prices depend on the Watt-factor of a solar panel. A 10W panel can go for about R150, whereas a 250W panel is closer to R4000.
These prices are also likely to vary over the next few years, and will certainly vary between various suppliers. Some companies provide higher quality solar panels than others too, but the above price is a fairly reliable ballpark to work on.
The cost of all other components is where the real cost comes in. Inverters can cost up to R8 000. Battery banks come in all shapes and sizes, and the price will depend on how much energy you need to store. Installation and integration is usually over R20 000 if done by a reputable company.
These prices may seem high at first, but as we’ve seen; a solar power system ultimately SAVES you money. It’s an investment worth making if we want to survive the inevitable price hikes from Eskom.
Above all, don’t get frightened by the prices of solar panels until you know how much it will cost to power YOUR OWN property. It’s likely that you can get away with fewer solar panels and batteries to power your home than you think. The very fact that you are asking these questions is a good sign that you’re moving in the right direction.