There are people in South Africa who claim that renewable energy will take away the jobs of those who work for Eskom and the coal industry in general. In a country where unemployment is only on the rise, it is understandable that many people would be concerned that even more people would lose their jobs, but these concerns are unfounded and short-sighted at best.
Throughout history, the rise of new technology has removed established jobs. For instance, nobody will hire a horse manure remover ever since cars took over as our modes of transportation and there is no need for them since the days of horse drawn carriages in cities and towns are far behind us. However, we also saw fresh, new careers with that came in with the invention of the automobile. This is the same for renewable energy.
Does Renewable Energy Create Enough Jobs To Replace Previous Ones?
As seen on the below graph, the short answer is yes. It just so happens that renewable energy creates even more jobs than coal-based energy. The graph indicates that coal mining jobs in the United States of America fell by 25 000 whereas jobs in the solar industry grew by 90 000 during the same time period.
As the graph below indicates, the solar industry is booming and clearly a sure-fire way to create jobs – something that South Africa is in dire need of.
It is important to look at the number of jobs created per electricity unit generated. According to this report by IRENA, solar “creates more than twice the number of jobs per unit of electricity generation compared with coal or natural gas.”
As shown throughout history, the ripple effect of the solar industry will create jobs, even more if you consider the ones created indirectly. Communities with access to clean, green energy will not only be healthier, but they will also have the power to start and grow their businesses.
If you want to join the industry leaders who already switched their businesses to solar power, be sure to contact J2G for our Zero Risk, Zero Investment commercial solution.