PhD Candidate’s Research Focuses on Solar Power Feasibility in KZN
A PhD candidate at UKZN’s Graduate School of Business and Leadership is currently working on a project for Trade and Investment KwaZulu-Natal involving solar power being attainable in KwaZulu-Natal.
Mr Sabelo Ngema’s research - titled: Renewable Energy Supply: Overcoming the Barriers to Promote Renewable Energy in South Africa - seeks to address the issue related to the impact of energy generation in climate change and global warming as well as finding solutions to issues preventing solar power being a sustainable source of energy to balance the demand and supply system for electricity.
Ngema’s interest in the topic stems from him observing the unemployment rate in South Africa and the resources the country possesses to introduce and implement renewable solar energy as a sustainable and vital source of energy. ‘KwaZulu-Natal has the potential to produce solar energy because of its warm weather conditions and this will result in saving money and the atmosphere dilapidation by greenhouse gases.’
He said solar energy would increase economic productivity and reduce endemic poverty and improve the quality of life and job creation for the continent’s rapidly growing population.
Ngema does, however, state that due to the limited capacity to generate solar energy and shortage of skills, it is difficult for renewable energy to be consistently produced and that solar supply currently does not reach energy generation level requirements as the constraints that exist disinterest suppliers.
At the end of this project, Ngema will be able to provide possible solutions on how to use solar energy optimally which will reduce the demand for electricity off the grid and hopefully encourage local manufacturing companies to manufacture solar panels and other related solar power components.
‘Government should provide support for research and development of the solar industries to increase the capacity locally for incoming solar researchers and specialists,’ he said. ‘The country needs to create employment through industry establishment.’
Words by: Reatlehile Moeti