Employment opportunities in the Western Cape’s green economy are projected to grow 500% by 2020, with the majority of the new opportunities to be created in the manufacturing of components for the renewable energy sector.
Western Cape Finance, Economic Development and Tourism Minister Alan Winde said on Monday that employment in the province’s green economy was expected to increase from 3 000 jobs in 2010 to 12 000 by 2015, 16 000 by 2020 and 20 000 by 2025.
Winde said in a statement that the Western Cape government in 2010 established Green Cape – a government-funded, industry-led agency tasked with unlocking the manufacturing and employment potential of the green economy.
“Green Cape and the Western Cape government are currently in discussion with various stakeholders on the implementation of smart energy grids that would enable individual firms and households to install hybrid energy generation systems and feed excess power into the grid.”
He added that a recently launched ‘110% Green’ campaign would act as a catalyst to build a critical mass of activity that puts the Western Cape well on the road towards becoming “Africa’s green economic hub”.
“We also want to establish the Western Cape as South Africa’s centre for the manufacturing of renewable energy technologies, with a focus on future-oriented technology. Our trade promotion agency Wesgro is working closely with potential investors in this sector to support their investment decisions, providing detailed investment information and facilitating business linkages between potential partners across the value chain.
“[Consulting firm] EDP’s synthesis report showed that if we do not reduce our carbon footprint, our ability to trade locally and internationally would be drastically reduced. Economic growth puts strain on our infrastructure; we need to find innovative and economical ways to better manage our natural resources especially our electricity use and the way we dispose of our waste,” Winde noted.
Winde visted three factories in Cape Town on Monday – AEG Power Solutions’ solar power equipment factory in; energy efficient lighting and electronic equipment manufacturer Tellumat and heat pumps manufacturer Tekniheat to highlight the potential of the green economy sector in the Western Cape and to engage with workers.