South Africa: Boosting Job Creation Through Renewables
Endowed with some of the best wind and solar resources globally, South Africa is actively pursuing renewable solutions in a bid to diversify its energy mix, increase energy security through domestic, sustainable energy supplies, and reduce the reliance on coal-fired power generation. The country’s adoption of renewable sources has not only created an environmentally friendly and long-term power generation alternative, but has initiated socioeconomic benefits through job creation that could reduce poverty rates and generate economic growth country wide.
REIPPP Drives Renewable Employment Opportunities
South Africa is currently leading the way in Africa’s energy transition with the implementation of its Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement (REIPPP) program – a comprehensive strategy designed to facilitate private sector investment into grid-connected renewable energy generation. According to a report by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) titled Renewable Energy: Facts and Figures, the REIPPP program not only addresses energy security challenges and the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, but it also emphasizes the role that renewable energy plays in boosting employment within the energy sector.
The REIPPP program aims to increase renewable energy’s penetration in the market and associated developments are leading to an increase in employment opportunities. The program has demonstrated the potential for localized job creation through renewable energy deployment in South Africa. A Co-benefits study undertaken by the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) notes that employment can be expected to increase by an additional 40% in the period 2018 to 2030, accounting for 580,000 job years. This number can potentially increase to more than 1.2 million job years, created along the entire renewable energy value chain. Already, in the first eight years of its implementation, the REIPPP program has attracted approximately R209.4 billion in committed private sector investment, and has created 32,532 direct, full time equivalent person-years of employment. The continued implementation of the program has the potential to generate socioeconomic growth through poverty alleviation and job creation country wide.
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