Solar power can be huge jobspinner

2010-11-16 13:09

Johannesburg - South Africa has the potential to create about 200 000 new jobs by 2020 through the solar power industry, a power development group Emvelo said on Tuesday.

However, current solar power targets being set by the government were not enough, Emvelo founder and director Pancho Ndebele said in a statement.

"The current draft Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) 2010 put forward by the government has so far only allocated 200 MW of Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) by 2015 and 600 MW by 2019, he said.

"This is far below what South Africa has the potential to achieve. We have the opportunity to create a solar corridor in the Northern Cape, with a number of solar power parks positioned across the province."

The target set by government for 2020 would only create around 191 000 jobs through 23 000 direct positions, such as construction, operation and manufacturing positions and an additional 168 000 indirect jobs.

Ndebele said South Africa had "ample" potential for hydro, wind and solar energy.

However, solar energy was the only one that would create jobs.

"We need to take a comparable standpoint for solar power now because in the long term this will contribute towards a solar gold rush for our country.

"Solar has massive potential for energy in the future. There is no fluctuation in the price, meaning we can determine the cost of solar energy 20 years from now, something we can't do with traditional energy sources," he said.

  • Sparky - 2010-11-16 13:30

    The only gold rush associated with solar power would be that of the company supplying the hardware. It does have enormous potential - to bankrupt the country. The price for solar is 5x to 10x that for conventional. Knowing that upfront does not make it better. Yes it will create jobs - in another country mostly...

  • Andre - 2010-11-16 13:33

    This is fantastic news! Lets just hope everyone gets there A into G with it

  • Leeutjie - 2010-11-16 13:34

    I read about a professor of some kind that is at the forefront of developping low cost solar cells that is non-silicon. I then read he took this technology to Germany. Is this available in South Africa yet and where can one find it. It is really big money at this stage to get a normal household of the grid.

  • Perplexed - 2010-11-16 13:35

    A solar corridor in the Northern Cape? I know they have sufficient sunlight but do they have sufficient water? Solar power generation uses more water than coal fired power stations. I simply dont believe the job creation multiplier of 7 times either. All in all sounds like siomebody trying to con their way into money.

  • Sunjay - 2010-11-16 13:39

    Solar Power together with Wind & Hydro Electric power is the only solution to future Power needs. S.A. can also create jobs through recycling iniatives. I hope some one out there is listening.Power to the people, Emvelo.

  • Solo Energist - 2010-11-16 13:54

    Conveniently failing to state exactly how much per kilowatt hour we will pay for solar. What we pay for solar makes Eskom look like a cheap discount shop. And don't come with the job creation argument. You can do plenty of things to create jobs, but at what cost per job? And, you say you can predict the price of solar in 20 years. Prove it.

  • Boychild - 2010-11-16 14:53

    3 issues A) 23000 jobs = how many actual JobYears B) 168000 indirect jobs = 7.3:1 indrect jobs for every direct job/Government ratio is 2.4:1/HSRC Ratio is 0.5-0.7:1 ---- Who is spindoctoring C) No fluctuation in price - so the public whose tax money was used to develope and establish this business will be paying pre-established "High" prices even though an astronomical reduction of cost is expected as solar comes out of infancy and becomes effective ----- sounds lke another fleecing operation

  • @Leeutjie - 2010-11-16 15:35

    It was Prof Vivian Alberts from Wits University. I followed the trail through Germany and ended up with a Company in Denmark that now has manufacturing rights. A developement in Clanwilliam has been equipped with this technology and they had enough spare capacity to load onto Escom's grid. Guess what Escom's response was? As long as we have BEE and the Bribe system, our technology will keep on ending up in foreign countries, were it will be produced and sold back to us.

  • Johan - 2010-11-16 16:11

    @Leeutjie - read this : It gives more info on Prof Vivian Alberts

  • Freddy - 2010-11-16 16:41

    The problem with solar power is the price tag of installing a suitable system and that can be as much as R25000.00. Then it must be weatherproof so hailstones cannot damage it. Job creation? YES!! Why can't new housing developments be made compulsory to have such a system installed? My intuition tells me Eskom will lose more income available for misuse.

  • pietie - 2010-11-16 20:10

    CSP can be haven for around 1000Euro/kWpeak, i.e. 1MW would cost around 1 million Euro. Medupi coal power plant will cost 2604166Euro/MW, i.e. 2,6 times as much. go figure the maths in SA

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