- Eskom and the South African Renewable Energy Technology Centre (SARETEC) signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) to formalise the collaboration to develop renewable energy artisan skills in South Africa, to support the implementation of the Eskom Just Energy Transition (JET) Strategy.
Eskom has developed a comprehensive JET Strategy which places equal importance on the ‘transition to lower carbon technologies,’ and the ability to do so in a manner that is ‘just’. In support of this strategy, Eskom has a pipeline of clean energy projects at various stages of development and recognises that there is a dire lack of skills along the value chain.
As an initiative of the Department of Higher Education and Training through the National Skills Fund, SARETEC was established as the first national renewable energy technology centre and is managed by the Cape Peninsula University of Technology. SARETEC expedites specialised industry-related and accredited training for the entire renewable energy (RE) industry including short courses and workshops.
SARETEC has, since its inception, established itself not only as a renewable energy subject matter expert but significantly contributed to the national skills pool of artisans and technicians with a special focus on wind and solar. SARETEC will support Eskom for the next 36 months to establish a similar renewable energy Training Facility fit for purpose to train artisans and technicians at Eskom’s Komati Power Station. The Facility will be managed by Eskom’s Academy of Learning (EAL).
The respective renewable energy industry associations namely, the South African Wind Energy Association (SAWEA) and the South African Solar Photovoltaic Industry Association (SAPVIA) are an integral part of the South African renewable energy industry as they promote innovation and cohesion amongst all the role players and stakeholders. Most importantly, both Eskom and SARETEC as members of these associations continue to draw ongoing support which is well demonstrated on this project.
The objective is to educate, reskill, and upskill Eskom Komati Power Station staff and qualifying beneficiaries from the surrounding communities in the Mpumalanga region. This is in line with Eskom’s Just Energy Transition drive and SARETEC’s vision to ensure a pipeline of local skills responding to economic needs and readiness for the inevitable transition
Given the accelerated global movement towards investment in a clean energy transition, there is a need in South Africa to upskill, retrain and develop a workforce to take full advantage of the opportunities presented by this transition. Moreover, the risk of job losses and redundancy due to the transition presents an opportunity to provide training and upskilling for new industries that can be scaled up as a result of the transition, particularly the renewables industry.
Eskom and SARETEC are committed to continue to partner with key stakeholders to ensure that the JET goals are met in an inclusive and collaborative manner drawing on the skills of all key role players.
Author: Bryan Groenendaal