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South Africa Launches Renewable Energy Skills Development Program

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Essakane hybrid power plant 15 MWp solar PV power plant in Essakane, Burkina Faso. The solar PV plant will be built next to a 55 MW W�rtsil� power plant currently running on heavy fuel oil, Africa�s largest engine-solar PV hybrid power plant.

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By Thomas Hedley, Field Editor 

The South African Photovoltaic Industry Association (SAPVIA) and the South African Wind Energy Association (SAWEA) has launched its Developing Developers program, aiming to enhance local skills development across the renewable energy value chain.

Boosted by a proactive clean energy policy, the country is looking to reap the full benefits of a lower carbon economy.

 “Historically, we have relied on much-needed foreign investment and know-how, but the time has come for South Africans to step up and step into the role of developer,” said Niveshen Govender, Chief Operation Officer of SAPVIA. “We have so much to gain by empowering local communities and upskilling individuals across the renewable energy value chain.”

Current and potential developers will be able to access the knowledge and skills needed to take a renewable energy project from the initial planning stage to commissioning. The program is expected to help meet local content challenges and provide new sources of revenue for the country.

Launched on September 17, the program leaders developed a series of seven workshops – together with the Independent Power Producers Office, the Renewable Energy Entrepreneurs Forum South Africa and the Black Energy Association – highlighting key areas of expertise required by developers to succeed.

“[The Developing Developers program] will be the first of our initiatives to drive effective change and build local competence to a global standard, so we can develop world-leading projects that will deliver the energy security and supply we desperately need,” said Govender.

SAWEA represents the interests of over 100 members that are invested in the South African wind power value chain. SAPVIA is the representative voice for more than 370 companies in the solar PV industry in South Africa.

Source: AOP

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