Solar energy from the outside
Good day all you solar enthusiasts!
My name is Brendon and I am the new graphic designer for GREEN Solar Academy. I will be working as the company’s contracted designer, managing all their design needs, as well as assisting with their website and other copy writing work. I am super excited to be working with GREEN and eager to learn as much as I can.
I was born in Johannesburg, South Africa and went to go study Journalism and Media Studies at Rhodes University. It is there that I learnt about my love for communication design and where I decided to pursue my master’s in Journalism and Media Studies. I stepped into the working world at the start of 2020 (not a great time I know) and spent most of the year as a freelance designer getting work wherever I could. Then sometime in December 2020 GREEN decided to give me a chance, for which I am very grateful.
My perspective on solar power
At first the idea of working for a solar company dedicated to renewable energy was a little daunting. I don’t know a lot about solar energy or renewable energy in general, but I saw it as a new and exciting opportunity to learn and explore a different world. The extent of my understanding of renewable energy is its necessity in a resource strapped, fossil fuelled world and, more importantly to me, an Eskom powered country (Eskom is South Africa’s only supplier of electricity and has run into many challenges over the last decade).
Many of my friends and even my own father has sought out alternative energy solutions for their homes. This is because of the necessity to reduce electricity costs as well as to deal with the unreliable nature of Eskom’s power supply and the increasing chance of load-shedding (the practice of shutting off power at certain times to manage the load on Eskom’s generators). So, for me renewable energy was just a way to reduce monthly expenses and stay powered when Eskom failed. And for many South Africans it worked, I know some families who can become the only light in a street of darkness because of their use of solar power.
Empowerment from the PV industry
However, the PV industry itself was mostly unknown to me. There is clearly a market for it and, as I said, was relevant to combat load-shedding. But for a long time, I never knew how vast the industry could be. This all changed when I went to the Design Indaba conference in 2017 in Cape Town.
At this conference I saw some of the amazing design solutions created using renewable and solar energy. For the first time I realised that the benefits of solar energy were being applied to those in need. Solar power gave light to a poverty-stricken child so they could do homework at night. It powered portable WIFI routers for schools in rural areas and even provided power to businesses in places electrical lines could not reach. The PV industry was much larger than I realised and very effective at helping those in need. Solar power wasn’t just for the privileged. It was a tool to empower those less fortunate.
My excitement for GREEN
In the weeks to come I look forward to participating in one of GREEN’s five-day courses, the SuperSolarSchool. This experience will help broaden my understanding of PV solar and I am excited to get to grips with some of the technical aspects of the course. I look forward to gaining a more in-depth understanding of the systems as well as learning some new terminology. While I don’t have a strong technical foundation, I have always been interested in how things work. The SuperSolarSchool will definitely give me a good foundation from which to build in my journey with PV solar as I learn about the different aspects of the industry, big and small.
This is why GREEN is such a great opportunity for me. As someone who doesn’t have the scientific experience it feels good to assist a company that is not only creating a better future through renewable energy, but also providing training and possible employment for those in need.
If I were to leave all you PV people with one thought, it is this. Renewable energy and solar energy can be a springboard for so much more than just a solar powered home. It can help a child finish high school, give a person hopeful employment and even give a designer the ability to create art during a blackout.
And what about you? Could we raise some interest? Join us in this year’s training!
Your next chance to learn about Solar Installation:
08-12 February 2021, Johannesburg
Trainer: Marius Geldenhuys and Peter Pretorius
R12,500.00 excl. VAT, 10% discount for GREEN and maxx alumni and SAPVIA members
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If you are starting your own business, searching for a job in the PV industry or just checking your options, gaining some knowledge is always the first step.