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German Solar Academy Nairobi launches second course
Both the potential and the necessity for energy generation through photovoltaic systems are high in Kenya. For the lack of alternative sources of energy, Kenya Power is often forced to generate electricity with diesel-powered generators. This is not only harmful to the environment but also expensive due to the high need of imported fuel. Only recently, in August 2011, Kenya Power has commissioned the first of five planned grid-connected photovoltaic systems.
Henry Gichungi, Deputy Manager, Off-grid Power Stations, Kenya Power said: “Grid-tie solar generation is a new technology in Kenya and the country has a lot of potential especially in the off-grid areas. Kenya Power is keen on training its staff in readiness for the adoption of this new technology, and is happy to host the Solar Academy to learn from the Germans who have advanced technology in renewable energy, and in particular solar energy.”
With their mutual expertise the three initiating companies of the German Solar Academy Nairobi, Energiebau Solarstromsysteme GmbH, SCHOTT Solar AG and SMA Solar Technology AG, cover planning, installation, operation and maintenance of grid-connected and off-grid photovoltaic systems (PV).
Until 2013 they are going to pass their knowledge biannually to East African engineers and artisans. Bernd Wolff, Energiebau Solarstromsysteme GmbH, said: „We are especially happy about the great interest Kenya Power has shown. It confirms our positive assessment of the Kenyan market.“
Along with the Kenya Power staff, members and staff from research institutes and private companies attended the training at the German Solar Academy Nairobi.
The German Solar Academy in Nairobi is part of a three year partnership among Energiebau Solarstromsysteme GmbH, SCHOTT Solar AG and SMA Solar Technology AG with the Deutsche Gesellschaft für International Zusammenarbeit in Kenya (GIZ; formerly GTZ) on behalf of the German Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).
The project goal is to establish photovoltaic systems as a sustainable source of energy. This will include the training of local experts and artisans as well as the installation of pilot systems in Kenya and Tanzania. Participants at the training were members of staff of power companies, research institutions and privately owned businesses.
Energiebau Solarstromsysteme GmbH completed the largest solar PV system in Africa on top of the roof of the new headquarters of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) Nairobi, with solar modules from SCHOTT Solar AG and inverters from SMA Solar Technology AG. The system, which was completed in February 2011, has a capacity of 515 Kilowatt and produces more energy than is needed by the 1200 staff in the four UNEP buildings.
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