FILE PHOTO: File photo shows a general view of solar panels used to produce renewable energy at the photovoltaic park during its official inauguration in Cestas.

INTERNATIONAL - The solar photovoltaic sector was the largest employer in the renewable energy industry last year, accounting for 3.4 million jobs, up from 3.1 million in 2016, according to International Renewable Energy Agency data.

Bioenergy was the second biggest employer at about 3.1 million jobs, more than double the size of hydropower, which came in third at 1.5 million.

Total jobs for the renewable energy industry topped 10 million for the first time, with China alone being responsible for 43 percent of the positions.

In other energy news, early this month, Enertrag SA (ESA), a subsidiary of German-based renewable energy company Enertrag, has concluded an agreement with Genesis Eco-Energy Developments that will see the two companies develop 1800MW of renewable energy.

Genesis director Davin Chown said the recent signing of power purchase agreements (PPAs) with independent power producers (IPPs) has spurred global energy companies to pursue local partners.

Chown said the signing of the PPAs with 27 IPPs has reinvigorated the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement (Reippp) programme.

“Now that the PPAs have been signed, there are a number of international companies that want to come to South Africa.

“They are looking for partners to co-develop projects in South Africa. They are willing to inject investments in this sector,” said Chown.

READ ALSO: 'It's a missed empowerment opportunity in energy sector'

READ ALSO: Enertrag, Genesis agreement to develop renewable energy

TOP STORY: Catch a flight for R99 with Uber and Travelstart