Renewable Energy Engineer

South Africa is highly dependent on fossil fuel for its power generation, which results in high levels of carbon emissions. As a signatory to the Paris Agreement, it is committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. Geographically, the country is well placed for generating renewable energy with its abundance of natural resources, sun and wind. These alternative energies will provide a diverse mix of cleaner energy to meet the country’s needs while meeting its global emission reduction targets.

Renewable energy engineers research and design renewable energy technologies, equipment and power generation plants. They plan and oversee the installation of renewable energy power plants, decide on the most ideal location and ensure that the sites operation meets engineering and environmental standards. They can also develop and improve existing procedures and assess and review energy production systems and technologies, advising on methods and techniques to reduce energy costs and improve energy efficiency.

Renewable energy engineers work in multidisciplinary teams with engineering technologists and technicians and can consult with geophysicists, geologists and climate change scientists. They work mainly in an office environment and occasionally travel to plant sites to oversee installations or address operational challenges.


Renewable energy engineers need extensive experience and a comprehensive knowledge of electrical engineering and will also benefit from:

  • Strong mathematical competence
  • Creative problem-solving and analytical thinking ability
  • Ability to coordinate and manage complex projects
  • Understanding of current energy policies and legislation


Advise on and design power plants and systems

Supervise, control and monitor the operation of electrical generation, transmission and distribution systems

Determine manufacturing methods for electrical systems

Establish control standards and procedures to monitor performance and safety of electrical generating and distribution systems


B.Sc.Eng. in Electrical Engineering at UCT, UKZN and Wits

B.Eng. in Electrical Engineering at SU, UJ and UP

Diploma, Advanced Diploma, M.Tech in Electrical Engineering at CPUT, CUT, DUT, MUT, TUT, UNISA, VUT and WSU


National, provincial and local government.

Construction, production and manufacturing companies.

Renewable and private energy organisations.

Private consultancies.

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