Education in Renewable Energy Expected to Boom in South Africa

With the fast growth in renewable energy in South Africa, universities will soon offer degrees which focus on this growing sector says MSC Artisan Academy’s Operations Director, Willie Gresse. Speaking to CNBC Africa at the Industrial Development Zone (IDZ) in East London, South Africa, Gresse says some of the country’s universities already offer short courses focusing on skill development for the renewable energy industry.

“Most of the major universities in South Africa at the moment, I believe, already have established renewable energy research centres. We, ourselves, train your electricians, your plumbers, and those type of trades that are involved in your traditional areas, and we re-skill them to understand the renewable energy environment,” says Gresse.

Based in East London, MSC Artisan Academy trains around 2 000 people every year across South Africa on how to operate Renewable Energy projects according to Gresse.

Situated in East London, a city in South Africa’s impoverished Eastern Cape Province, the IDZ currently oversees $180 million worth of Renewable Energy investments in various projects which have created 602 jobs.

South Africa has seen vast growth in the renewable energy sector since 2011 with many countries pouring in investments, including the United States which has invested $4.6 billion in previous years.

The Commercial Officer at the U.S Department of Commerce International Trade Administration, Mike Calvert, has projected investments of around $16 billion into South Africa’s renewable energy sector in coming years from the United States alone.