The Belhar Campus of Northlink College has been offering the NC(V) Renewable Energy Technology or RET programme since 2015. The new Solar Centre at the campus has been a hub of activity since its inception in 2014. The course offered aims to train students to have the ability to be employed in the Green Economy. Employment opportunities exist for students to install and maintain the following systems:
(1) Solar Photo Voltaic systems –this is the generation of electricity by Solar panels which could be stored to use during power failures. Also households or companies who simply want to be off the grid could utilise this technology.
(2) Solar thermal systems – This is the heating of water through solar panels which is then stored in geysers for use when needed. This technology is very popular and many households are interested in this easy way to reduce their electricity consumption. Huge growth in this industry is expected as the increase in electricity forces consumers to Go Green.
Huge Solar farms also exist in the Northern Cape Province and these projects will create job opportunities in terms of maintenance requirements in future.
(3) Wind Turbines- this is the generation of electricity using wind energy and is very popular in windy parts of the country. The technology also works at night which can complement solar power at that time of the day. Very popular in the Eastern Cape with many opportunities existing in the future maintenance of these wind turbines.
The renewable energy project recieved a donation of R500 000 worth of Solar Equipment from Germany and partners GIZ.