The rise of renewable is no news; but the transition is not so clear for many actors in the sector, both enthusiasts and those impacted by the shift. Harvard Business Review has recently been looking deeper into the question of financing the transition to renewable energy from two different perspectives: coal workers and industrial firms.
Young coal workers, in particular, should consider retraining for a job in solar now. In fact, Research from Oregon State University suggests most coal workers should start thinking about retraining now.
The study quantified the costs and benefits of retraining such workers in solar technology and explores different alternatives to finance the shift. It identifies four different ways of financing such a shift from individual funding options, company sponsored retraining, state driven programmes and federal government initiatives.
It concludes that in general after retraining, most technical workers would make more in the solar industry than previously in coal because there is a wide variety of employment opportunities in the solar industry, and that the annual pay is attractive at all levels of education, with even the lowest skilled jobs paying a living wage.
Big companies have been buying a lot of clean energy; but making it work in terms of costs and accounting can be a hurdle for industrial companies. HBR draws lessons from Owens Corning execs and how they laid out the strategy to get over the hurdles that industrial companies face when investing in renewable energy in order to add value to the company, and the environment.
In conjunction with Just Shea, GCP Solar distributed 384 solar lanterns to two off-grid lighting communities in Northern Ghana. These are rural areas with no current access to safe light or electricity.
GCP Solar is a distributor of the market leading Nokero® suite of solar products, such as hand-held solar lights and mobile phone chargers. A majority of the population currently use candles or kerosene to produce light, these can have detrimental affects to their health as well as the environment.
Sidney Yankson (CEO, GCP Solar) ran one-to-one or group sessions teaching the Shea women, with an interpreter, about how to use their purchased solar lanterns. The solar lanterns were a part of their safety kit provided by Just Shea. After returning at nightfall, the feedback was already highly positive. Not only does this provide a safer and sustainable solution to bad lighting, the women actually saved extra money through buying the product. Many of them were pleased that their children could now do their homework after sundown.
The shea women collect shea nuts in remote areas in Northern Ghana. Shea butter is a popular type of moisturiser exported all over the world. 1 million women a year get bitten by snakes when picking the nuts, however now, thanks to their safety kit and solar lanterns, this figure may now be curbed. The Government of Ghana is hoping for 5GW of total power in the country in the years to come. Furthermore, they anticipate that a high proportion of this will come from renewable energy sources.
Ghana Capital Partners CEO Sidney Yankson attends an EU Energy Initiative Partnership Dialogue Facility event held in Brussels hosted by the Africa-EU Energy Partnership (AEEP) and the Africa-EU Renewable Energy Cooperation Programme (RECP) with a focus on improving and increasing access to modern, affordable and sustainable energy services in Africa.