Being energy efficient has a positive impact on socio-economic upliftment
Energy efficiency offers opportunities for socio–economic upliftment through creating jobs. One of the needs for the national support of energy efficiency programmes such as 49M is South Africa’s leading energy saving movement calling on all South Africans to avoid wasting energy.
The campaign, which is becoming trendy, challenges individuals and businesses to live energy efficient lives and to run energy efficient enterprises.
49M seeks to mobilise all South Africans to embark on a common goal to make a difference and to save energy through behavioural change with a short-term goal to educate South Africans about the benefits of saving energy not only in their everyday lives but also in the economy.
At present, South Africa has a triple challenge of unemployment, inequality and poverty. Employment growth relies on the aggressive investment in innovative job-creating facilities across the country; energy efficiency is one such opportunity with numerous renewable technologies that are applicable in a wide variety of environment, unlimited by weather, readily available skills and economic scales.
There is a hugely positive socio-economic impact stemming from energy efficiency activities. These vary and include health benefits, gender equality and education equality.
The 49M initiative creates awareness across all social demographics encouraging each South Africans to value having access to electricity.
There is still a huge backlog of unconnected households in South Africa which could be a direct result of the slow economic development.
Over the years numerous off-the-grid electrification programmes have been created aimed at supplying solar in areas where municipal power is not financially or physically feasible. Sadly, due to a lack of funds and lack of infrastructure, there has not been significant growth in this sector.
Renewable energy cannot be discussed in isolation from job creation, economic development and social upliftment.