The South African Renewable Energy Technology Centre (SARETEC) is the first national renewable energy technology centre in South Africa and has been established at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT) – Bellville campus, Cape Town, South Africa.
SARETEC expedites specialized industry-related and accredited training for the entire renewable energy (RE) industry including short courses and workshops.
The Centre has received funding from the Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET) through the National Skills Fund (NSF) and substantial support from the German Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development through the South African-German energy programme (SAGEN), implemented by the GIZ, the South African National Energy Development Institute (SANEDI) and Green Cape.
As a National Centre, SARETEC endeavours to make locally developed technologies more accessible to the renewable energy industry in partnership with education and research institutions in all provinces.
SARETEC has established strong partnerships with government, academia, industry, associations and private sector companies within the Renewable Energy Sector. The facility is a green building and is designed to showcase the use of renewable energy and energy efficient technology.
About 100 highly skilled wind turbine technicians (mostly from rural areas) have already graduated and are now employed either locally or internationally.
SARETEC Director, Naim Rassool, explains how this qualification will benefit those who choose to enrol with the institution.
Our mandate from the Department of Higher Education is to train technicians for the renewable energy industry which includes solar PV technicians, energy effeciency technicians and biogas/biomass technicians. – Naim Rassool, Saretec Director
After five months of training, the technicians get employed by the original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) who operates the turbines in South Africa.
Rassool says the solar PV technicians will go on to start their own businesses or get employment with the independent power producers.
The SARETEC building showcases sustainable energy principles. The building itself is used as a working laboratory for training and education in renewable energy and energy efficiency. SARETEC facilities include:
- offices and facilities for permanent, contract and visiting staff.
- library and online workspace for staff, students and visitors.
- a lecture theatre (150 seats), three classrooms, laboratory-classrooms (hydraulics, electrics, solar), solar/wind control room, turbine hall, mechanical workshop and a composites workshop.
- personal protection equipment, a tower for working at heights and fire fighting training equipment.
To find out more about the program visit www.saretec.org.za
Main pic: Nicole Fraser Photography