The Solar PV industry is an excellent one to join, especially in South Africa.
The Solar Photovoltaic (PV) industry is one of the most exciting, fastest growing and environmentally friendly industries in the world, and in South Africa the PV industry has a particularly bright future. Solar PV capacity in South Africa has increased significantly, both with small and large scale projects. Small-scale PV growth for residential and commercial sites has exploded as a result of the Solar PV Rooftop Revolution, and larger scale PV projects are currently experiencing incredible growth and even more planned implementation; 1450 MW of Solar PV generation capacity has been allocated under the Renewable Energy Independent power Procurement Programme (REIPPP) and an additional 8,400 MWs are planned by 2030. The South African government’s 2011 Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) sets a target of 42% of all national energy to be generated from renewable energy by 2030. In addition, electricity from solar PV is projected be the cheapest in South Africa by 2020.
In 2013 there were an estimated 2.3 million Solar PV jobs globally, and the numbers are growing.
A 2014 annual review on Renewable Energy and Jobs by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) reveals important facts and global trends regarding renewable energy related jobs. The report emphasises the ever-increasing global numbers of green energy jobs, particularly in solar PV technology which saw a global increase of 1.4 million jobs since 2012, reaching up to 2.3 million Solar PV jobs globally in 2014. The US alone, a country where the Solar PV industry is one of the most established in the world, added 5895 jobs Solar PV in its second quarter of 2014. The IRENA review also reports a significant shift towards developing economies, which experienced the most significant growth in renewable energy related projects and job growth. Another important finding was the reported looming shortage of skilled workers in the field. These shortages are said to already be holding back the development of certain renewable energy projects and technologies. According to another survey by the Renewable Energy Alliance (REA), numerous employers in different countries identified a number of renewable energy skill areas (or occupations) that are “difficult to fill”, further highlighting the existing and growing demand for trained solar PV workers and hence the growing opportunities for individuals to enter the industry.
The drastic increases and the significant global numbers in Solar PV jobs demonstrate that “it is no longer a niche, it has become a significant employer worldwide”
The substantial anticipated growth of the PV industry in South Africa means ever-increasing job opportunities in a wide-variety of capacities, most importantly however, entering a growing industry relatively early is the most opportune time since it promotes career growth and development at a faster pace than in a more developed, long-standing field. So, who can leap to the opportunity to take advantage of these opportunities? Almost anyone!
There are opportunities in many different skill levels.
There are multiple different career paths available across different categories within the industry and at varying skills levels. The different categories include; Component Production;
Systems Design; Sales, Marketing, and Permitting; Installation and Operations. Within each category there are multiple opportunities at different skills levels ranging from basic, middle to advanced levels. Numerous progressions are possible and there are innumerable career paths possible to suits personal interests and abilities. In addition, the tool below lists different skills and qualifications that can be attained in order to progress along a desirable career path. The time is opportune, the resources are available to gain the necessary training (have a look at our Solar PV courses by clicking here), all that’s left is to take the leap to a brighter future for your career and for South Africa.
Have a look at a (click here) fantastic Solar Career Mapping tool to see how you can join the industry.