30 May 2019
Internship Programme at George Municipality - Energy efficiency
The George Municipality has participated in two grant funded Internship programmes since February 2012. The one being the Infrastructure Skills Development programme and the other the Department of Energy’s, Energy Efficiency Demand Side Management (EEDSM) programme with a total of eleven (11) interns recruited for Phase 1 for the period 2012 to 2017.
Municipality’s participating in the programmes are required to recruit unemployed graduates in possession of a tertiary qualification, namely, a national diploma and/or a degree from an accredited University of Technology and or a University, and to provide practical on the job training towards becoming professionally registered with statutory bodies/councils such as Engineering Council of South Africa (ECSA), South African Council for Planners (SACPLAN), South African Council for Natural Scientific Professions (SACNASP) and South African Geomatics Council (SAGC). The municipality must train and provide appropriate skills that can enable the interns to be marketable thereby stimulating job creation amongst unemployed graduates.
The training is focussed towards professional registration with respective statutory councils and on completion of the training programme the graduates should be successfully registered as professionals within their respective fields. The first phase has been concluded with five of the eleven Interns successfully registered with ECSA and ten (10) of them achieving permanent employment, four (4) with local municipalities and six (6) with Engineering Consultancies in the Western Cape.
George Municipality’s second group of 17 interns were recruited over the period 2017- 19 with eight (8) of them being Electrical Engineering interns. Two retired professional mentors, (Civil and Electrical) continue to mentor the Civil, Chemical and Electrical Interns and a professional mentor was appointed to mentor the Town Planning & GIS interns.
George Municipality has launched a “ World of Tomorrow Festival 2019” to help increase public awareness of the importance of energy efficiency and the participating schools will present a 15 minute drama production. This initiative will take the message through children - to the homes of George residents - via an Industrial Theatre Competition which will introduce and explore the topic of “How do you mitigate climate change with energy efficiency.”
The dramas will highlight the changes individual residences and schools can make to become more energy efficient, which in most cases, will assist with curbing the effect of Climate Change – a global topic. This project has come about as a result of the George Electrotechnical department participating in the second year of a National Energy Efficiency Demand program, which includes funding provided by the Department of Energy (DOE) for public awareness around climate change and energy efficiency.
The electrical engineering interns will be assisting with the project and will each contribute a technical article on the topic. Our first writer, Phillip Van Niekerk completed his Bachelor of Engineering (Mechanical) and Masters Engineering (Mechanical) at Stellenbosch University and is an engineering intern at George Electrotechnical Services, Planning department.
Energy efficiency: Introduction to a series of articles
The existing energy situation in South Africa makes energy efficiency a very current topic to ensure economic sustainability and reduce one’s environmental impact. Energy efficiency is the useful energy delivered to a system, divided by the input energy to the system. To increase energy efficiency - one has to do the same work - with less energy. Doing the same amount of work with less energy is possible, if you consider the first law of thermodynamics. The law states that energy can neither be created nor destroyed. It can only change forms. The main goal of energy efficiency is to convert energy into the form you want to use it, while minimizing losses, such as heat.
For example, an incandescent light bulb produces light energy (useful) but also heat (loss) from electrical energy. An LED light bulb produces the same amount of light using less energy because less energy is wasted in heat. The LED light is thus more efficient. This concept can also be extended to other forms of energy. If a building is properly insulated the heating or cooling of the building would be more efficient because less energy would achieve the same heating or cooling outcome.
The two clear benefits of energy efficiency are economic and environmental. Due to South Africa’s dependence on coal power stations, a reduction in electricity usage will have a direct effect in reducing your environmental impact. The reduced energy usage will however not slow economic growth because, as mentioned above, the work being done stays the same. Furthermore, the initial investment cost of energy efficient equipment can be offset in as little as 3 years. This is however determined by the type of equipment and the Department of Energy’s capital investment in George entailing the replacing of old streetlights with new LEDs has an expected offset period of approximately 5 years. Investing in energy efficient technologies is thus a great investment for both businesses and residents to reduce expenses. An investment in energy efficient technologies contributes to economic growth while reducing the negative environmental impact.
The Department of Energy websitehttps://www.savingenergy.org.za/asl/calculation-tools/ has useful calculation tools for the purchasing of an appliance. These calculation tools were created to aid consumers to make more informed decisions by calculating the long term cost for running an appliance. The tool allows you to understand how much energy it will use and as a result how much money it costs to run the appliance.
In the photograph the five electrical engineering interns pictured are currently actively participating in the Department of Energy’s Energy Efficiency Demand Side Management (EEDSM) programme. Two of the interns are appointed under the EEDSM programme, two under the ISDG programme and one from IMESA. They are from the left: Lukas van Eck, Fezeka Mkhaza, Mphielo Ramotsamai, Phillip Van Niekerk and Thabo Yiga.Last published 30 May 2019