South Africa’s coal reserves are estimated at 53 billion tonnes, providing 77% of its power generation. There is however increasing pressure, both domestic and globally to explore alternative energy sources for the country’s domestic and economic needs and meeting its sustainable growth requirements with minimal environmental impact. Geothermal power is produced using heat in the form of steam or hot water to produce electrical energy.
Geothermal technicians work in small teams with other plant personnel. They mainly work outdoors in relatively harsh conditions and are required to always use protective clothing and equipment on site.
Geothermal technicians require solid technical knowledge of geothermal power production processes and a thorough understanding of health and safety regulations. They will additionally benefit from:
Operate, inspect and maintain geothermal plant equipment
Test water sources for factors such as flow volume or contamination
Record operational and production data making needed adjustments
Troubleshoot equipment faults, contacting specialist contractors for support
B.Eng. in Electrical Engineering specialising in Energy systems at SU, UJ and UP
B.Sc.Eng in Electrical Engineering specialising in Power systems at UCT, UKZN and Wits
Diploma, Advanced Diploma, M.Tech in Electrical Engineering specialising in Process Control at CPUT, MUT, VUT and WSU
Geothermal technicians can also benefit from a National Certificate in Fossil Power Plant Operations at National Qualifications Framework Level 1 to 4 at TECHNISA, accredited by the Energy and Water Sector Education and Training Authority. However, most training takes place on the job with mentoring by experienced operators.
Geothermal power production manufacturers.