Most of the early grid tied photovoltaic power projects in South Africa are using crystalline silicone based modules, which dominate the industry, accounting for some 90% of the total installed. However, arguments can be made in favour of thin film technologies.
The case in general for photovoltaic (PV) generated energy has grown, since its prices have become competitive with conventional energy sources. While having the drawback of intermittency based on when the sun shines, PV energy is more price predictable than that from fuels such as gas, and once installed operating costs are low. Companies and utilities are including solar PV into their mix to balance their power generation portfolios and to mitigate fuel price volatility. Gas and oil producing countries themselves see their hydrocarbons as being worth more when exported or converted to value-added products than when consumed domestically at subsidised rates. Thus they seek substitution, and many of these countries are rich in sunlight.