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Solar power can be huge jobspinner

Nov 16 2010 13:09 Sapa

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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.
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