SACREEE Course on Renewable Energy Project Design Gives Practical Guidance for Expanding Businesses
New insights into industry standards, ideas for business expansion and networking opportunities were just some takeaways for the participants of a three-week-long online course hosted by SACREEE and supported by the Africa-EU Energy Partnership (AEEP), IRENA and GIZ.
In May, 2022, small to medium-sized African energy entrepreneurs had the opportunity to gain technical knowledge and skills on planning, design, development, implementation and installation of renewable energy projects while attending the “Renewable Energy Project Design and Development” course hosted by the SADC Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (SACREEE).
By completing this course, the participants familiarised themselves with aspects of renewable energy planning such as resources, policies, tariffs, revenues, and pay-as-you-go systems. With new knowledge on how to interpret the scope, processes, consultancy proposals, contractor bids and quality requirements in each renewable energy project, the participants were also required to test and apply their newly gained skills to practice, for example, when it comes to the design and installation of solar or biogas systems.
UDRE Limited is a wind decentralised mini grid project developer company based in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. It’s director and co-founder, Christina John Omodoa, says that the core activity of the company is to develop wind mini-grid projects in rural areas of Tanzania. For Omodoa one of the key insights gained from the training, with practical application to her own work, was the new information about the duration of wind turbine projects.
Siyabonga Ximba, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of ZN Energy Solutions Pty Ltd from South Africa, is grateful for the training as it has brought clarity on the future of his company. Technical industry aspects acquired through this training are valuable to the youth-owned South African solar powered energy supplier that aims to tap into the creative talents and energy of young people.
PC Solar World is a solar service provided in Malawi. For the company, the training provided insights on how necessary it is to follow standards in the renewable energy sector by outlining different standards from different bodies such as the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC), the International Federation of Consulting Engineers’ (FIDIC) documents and the International Organisation for Standardisation. Participants from PC Solar World would recommend the training, not only for the technical knowledge and practical skills gained, but also for the interaction with experienced specialists in the renewable energy sector who review and provide expertise on the future of the sector in Africa.
For the participants from the Botswanan company Solar Tree Investments – which among other services, also provides trainings on solar installations targeted at girls and women as well as trainings for farmers on the use of alternative sources of energy – the “Renewable Energy Project Design and Development” course equipped the company with skills for potential network building and expansion of their business. Charity Kiki Kennedy, Technical Manager of Solar Tree Investments, says that she would encourage other SMEs to participate in this training as it freshens the perspective on the renewable energy industry and provides networking opportunities.
Maluleke Palma, Managing Director of the Palma Maluleke company from South Africa that focuses on solar photovoltaics maintenance and investigation on non-performance sites, says that most people register the company for the sake of registration, without knowing in detail what is expected for the business to grow. By completing the SACREEE-provided course, supported by the AEEP, Palma gained insights into the process of preparation of projects and the tender procedures, which will help her expand her business.
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