Today's Labour News

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northencapelogoReuters writes that South Africa may still get most of its energy from coal, but in the country’s sunny Northern Cape province, a different electricity source is taking hold, namely solar steam.  

A Spanish renewable energy company has opened three thermal solar plants in the province.  The plants – which use sun-heated salt to drive turbines – produce enough electricity to provide power to just short of a million people, or almost the province’s entire population, according its operators.  That represents an important shift in energy generation, but 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%.  The first solar steam plant – KaXu Solar One which opened in 2015 in Pofadder – provided about 80 new permanent jobs, and about 1,700 temporary jobs, according to Sarah Marchildon of the UN climate change secretariat’s Momentum for Change initiative.  The other two plants – including Xina Solar One, completed last year in Uppington, on the banks of the Orange River – have created another 45 permanent and 1,300 temporary jobs, she said.  The solar project, with its mix of public and private finance, is seen as a model for helping boost large-scale clean energy projects in Africa.

  • Read this report by Munyaradzi Makoni, Laurie Goering and the Thomson Reuters Foundation in full at Moneyweb

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