ELIDZ as a renewable energy research and development hub
The East London IDZ’s vision and mission clearly outlines the primary reason for existence of the Zone, that of developing, managing and maintaining an industrial complex together with the associated utilities and services that will firstly attract investors and secondly service those investors as customers of the ELIDZ.
The main function of the renewable energy sector is to identify possible investors interested in locating in the zone, secure these investors, settle them in the zone and provide the necessary infrastructure, utilities and services to allow them to manufacture or produce in accordance with their business model.
As part of its service offering in line with the renewable energy sector, the ELIDZ established a Science and Technology Park (STP). The rationale behind this Park, was to establish high-tech, home grown enterprises which will locate in the Zone to manufacture new products, create competitive growth entities in the form of new manufacturing entities and offer value-added services to the ELIDZ tenants which will ensure they meet market required standards.
This initiative has seen major strides being made through the STP in the renewable energy sector. To date the ELIDZ has established renewable energy-focused tenants such as AET Africa (previously Amahlathi Eco Tech) and the Master Artisan Academy of South Africa (MAASA).
AET Africa is incubated in the STP and has been a pioneer in the sector, as such they manufactured energy saving prototype Hot Spot and energy transfer-Heat Raider.
In addition to this the “Twerly” was also initiated, incubated and developed in the ELIDZ STP. Twirly has been developed as a street light that uses a vertical wind turbine and solar panel instead of electricity from the national grid. As well as operating off grid, there is no waiting around for electric cables to be laid before a residential area or new development can be lit up. The potential this street light has to offer power to other users (such as residents plugging in their phones, laptops to access the World Wide Web) is huge. For more visit www.elidzstp.co.za
Skills development and training
The ELIDZ has partnered with the Master Artisan Academy of South Africa (MAASA) to provide skills development and training in the renewable energy sector.
The Academy has its focus on training and skilling artisans in the installation and maintenance of rooftop solar systems. The training targets existing electrical contractors as well as unemployed artisans, with the primary purpose of creating the necessary capacity country wide for the installation and on-going maintenance of solar PV systems.
The training is market-focused and is aimed at low-cost technology design, installation, commissioning and maintenance.
Trainees are provided with knowledge and skill in terms of solar PV water heating system design, installation, costing and commissioning. In addition to this, the trainees are also taught how to maintain these systems given that there are currently around 450 000 systems in South Africa.
Chris Ettmayr (Sector Manager: Renewable Energy & ICT)
T: +27 43 702 8214
F: +27 43 702 8251