The plants have provided new jobs in a Province with one of the highest youth unemployment rates in the country, at more than 40 percent
SOUTH Africa may still get most of its energy from coal, but in the sunny Northern Cape a different electricity source is taking hold – solar steam.
A Spanish renewable energy company has opened three thermal solar plants – which use the sun’s heat to turn water into steam – in the Province. The steam is then used to drive turbines to produce electricity – enough to provide electrical power to just short of a million people, or almost the Province’s entire population, according to its operators.
Just as important, the plants have provided new jobs in a Province with one of the highest youth unemployment rates in the country, at more than 40 percent.
The first solar steam plant – KaXu Solar One, opened in 2015 in Pofadder – provided about 80 new permanent jobs and about 4500 temporary jobs, according to Sarah Marchildon, a spokesperson for the UN climate change secretariat.
The other two plants, including Xina Solar One, completed last year in Upington, have created another 45 permanent and 1300 temporary jobs. – Reuters