Solar Installation in South Africa

Just two days before the kick-off of the FIFA World Cup in South Africa, students of the Madiba-a-Toloane high school install 26 120W solar panels on the roof of the school hall. These panels will supply a public viewing area in the hall where 600 people of the rural village of Jericho can watch the World Cup games. © Greenpeace / Nicolas Fojtu

Saying ‘we need to use renewable energy more’ is easy, but have you ever seen it in action? Watching a consumer object go from zero to fully powered simply because it’s been put in reach of the sun’s rays can fill most people with a sense of childlike wonderment.

To give young activists and volunteers this necessary visual understanding of what renewable energy can do, Greenpeace Africa is hosting two weeks of full-time solar training camps from 24 September to 9 October at the Baden-Powell Scout Camp in Morningside, Durban.

During the training camp, young scouts will learn how solar power (and other renewable energy) works, how solar panels themselves work, and how to install the panels.

There will be a special focus on Green Jobs, the future for our youth. Greenpeace Africa will take the opportunity to officially launch a briefing on the potential for green job creation in South Africa, entitled “More jobs and progress for South Africa: The Advanced Energy [R]evolution scenario and its impact”.

Four high efficiency solar panels have been donated by SunPower, and will be installed by the camp attendees on two Greenpeace mobile showcase units. These will then be displayed at COP17 in November/December. Each unit will power multi-media technology devices, like televisions, laptops and sound systems.

On the 9th of October, family and friends will be invited to an open day where the trainees will get the chance to talk about, and demonstrate their new solar knowledge.

The course is set up to empower young people with skills and knowledge of solar energy, and to communicate the growing need for renewable energy solutions at COP 17, as voiced from the generation of tomorrow.

In the longer term, a training camp like this will also teach invaluable skills for a world where we will have to start relying on renewable energy more. It will also help develop communities to become self-sufficient and eco-friendly.

This work is just one of the ways Greenpeace is helping South Africa find solutions to the climate change problems our communities face. The future is ours - use renewables now!

How can you get involved?

South Africa has some of the best renewable energy sources in the world, but sadly they have been overlooked in the past. The sun and the wind are practically begging to be used more.

Join our Use Me More campaign to call on the government to use the sun and wind more.

Sign the petition and let’s make sure the government realises the true potential of renewable energy.

For more information on solar and wind power, visit our sponsors’ websites at www.sunpower.org or www.gwstore.co.za.