In many countries load shedding (a controlled shut down of electricity option to protect the electricity power system from a total blackout) has become a harsh reality. With crumbling infrastructure, depleted resources and the constantly rising cost of electricity, oil and gas, renewable energy is becoming the only option on the table to ensure economies don’t slide backwards.
Unfortunately, ever since it was discovered that solar and renewable energy was a viable power source, it’s only been seen as an alternative to using fossil fuels. However, despite this unfair reputation, renewable energy is quickly becoming the main source of power in many countries. Though our main reason for using renewable energy may initially be financial, we cannot ignore the benefits to our planet. Renewable sources of energy are becoming more popular by the day.
With this fast-paced growth in the industry, there are plenty of career opportunities for job seekers. It’s a good career path for both experienced and inexperienced professionals. Here are a few reasons to seriously consider renewable energy as a career if you are thinking about starting your career or switching industries.
Exponential Growth in Renewable Energy is Creating Employment Jobs in South Africa
According to the United Nations, “Solar energy was found to be the fastest-growing sector. In 2021 it provided 4.3 million jobs, more than a third of the current global workforce in renewable energy.” This means the employment growth in these areas is much higher than average and due to the state of South Africa’s irregular power output and increasing cost, more and more families and businesses are turning to the use of solar energy. Therefore, making solar jobs in South Africa more popular and making a dent in unemployment numbers.
While researching the trends in solar jobs, you may have noticed a pronounced focus on the high level, technical jobs. It may be true that there are many openings for people with degrees and experience in STEM fields (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics), however, there are also many other openings available for people with skills outside of STEM. Sales, labor and support are some of the many jobs available in the solar industry. You can even find careers in education that could lead to teaching. If you enjoy solar tech and have the drive to be an expert in it, you can have a very prosperous career.
You’ll Contribute to Improving the Environment
The work done in the solar energy field reduces pollution and combats climate change, which is an integral part of having a sustainable environment. This not only helps our planet but both humans and animals. For many, that is motivation enough to steer their studies or career towards renewable energy.
In addition to that, the installation of commercial and residential solar panels can result in massive savings, which can have a positive knock-on effect to the growth of the economy.
Increased Earning Potential
Because of the high demand for renewable energy skills, jobs in the solar industry pay very well, and consistent salary growth tends to be very common. IRENA’s Director-General, Francesco La Camera, said that in the face of numerous challenges, “renewable energy jobs remain resilient, and have been proven to be a reliable job creation engine.” Thereby proving the stability and growth of the industry.
As you gain more skills and experience, the opportunities to further your career expands and so does the ability to earn more. For example, a Solar Engineer starting out can earn from R500 000 and a senior Solar Engineer about R800 000. Designers, administrators, salespeople, and others can also expect decent salary growth if they pursue these careers.
No matter what your talents and interests are, there is a place for you in the solar industry. Companies need skills ranging from sales and marketing to web design, construction, installation, design and engineering. Renewable energy companies are experiencing vast growth, and it is probable that this will continue for some time due to the numerous environmental benefits. If you’re unsure about your present career or looking for an interesting switch, consider going into renewable solar energy.