Photovoltaic Solar energy System cost  vs Generator vs Eskom costs

A common question we get is “How long will it take to pay my Solar System back” or “How does a photovoltaic Solar energy System compare to the cost of a generator”.  These questions are actually a bit more complex to answer than a simple quick reply, as many provisions are present, as well as much long term uncertainties, such as the annual Eskom price hike, Fuel prices going forward, Rand/Dollar or Rand/Euro currency exchange.

Further to that it would also vary per system- as I would attempt to explain in the dissertation to follow.Let us have a look at the different potential client scenarios, each with a different answer:

  1. I live in town and get the occasional Load shedding’s 1 or 2 per week, what would be the most feasible option to look after my blackout periods?
  2. I am tired of the load shedding; I want to completely go off the grid, either by means of a Generator or a solar system, what is the cheapest?
  3. I live on a Farm with no Eskom, What is the best solution to operate my farm, a Generator or photovoltaic Solar energy System?
  4. I am tired of the high electricity bills and want alternative means of energy source – Can I use a Generator at home/office or do a Full photovoltaic Solar system to replace my Grid supply and what are the options?
  5. I want to connect only a GRID TIE solar system to my house/office No batteries no backup, purely Solar panels- How long would it take to recover my costs?

Assumptions & Provisions contained into the calculations

In order to present some graphs and figures, and to try and compensate for future variables, I had to make certain assumptions.  

Please link to the following file to do your calculations:



This webpage and the information presented is to my knowledge correct, however we give it here only as advice and general information as a guide we accept no responsibility for the use, misuse and representation of same  to other parties and applications  without my written consent and agreement.

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