GREEN Solar Academy Namibia based at iseli-energy in Windhoek

First solar training at new venue in Windhoek

The green hydrogen boom and new regulations from power companies in Namibia saw a fully-booked 5-day solar training at our new academy in Windhoek.

After 7 years in Otjiwarongo, GREEN Solar Academy Namibia has moved its training facilities to Windhoek, and held its first five-day solar training course at the new venue just last week. The academy is now based at the Southern Industry premises of iseli-energy, a technology partner of GREEN Solar Academy.

The more convenient location resulted in an immediate and positive response from solar installers in the vicinity and saw a fully booked class almost as soon as course dates were announced.

Many of those who registered for the training are existing members of Renewable Energy Industry Association of Namibia (REIAoN) looking to formalise their craft and eliminate the guesswork when it comes to sizing and components, and becoming part of the GREENetwork, Africa’s largest network of solar installers, in the process.

The course offered at the academy in Namibia is called the SuperSolarSchool, a brand already much revered in South Africa as endorsed PV GreenCard training by the SA PV Industry Association (SAPVIA).

The 5-day short course meets the needs of busy professionals and covers the entire spectrum of solar technology, encompassing aspects such as design, installation, maintenance, and even financing, without requiring too much time away from the office.

The GREEN Network extends into Namibia

Lead trainer Jonathan Joseph gave us some insight into the group that attended: “The training was sold out, and that that’s probably due to the fact that our electrical distributor now expects all PV contractors to hold a PV certificate.

“Some of the guys definitely do start off believing there is nothing left for them to learn, but by the second day, they realise there’s much they need to update when it comes to products, design, regulations.

“As always, I also learned a lot from THEM too, sharing their experiences with different systems. That’s the beauty of the GREENetwork – everybody benefits!”

Olivia Namkomba, GREEN Solar Academy Namibia Country Director, hands a certificate to one of the participants and new alumni member of the GREENetwork.

Continuous increase expected

Around 60% of Namibia’s power is imported from South Africa, as well as from Zambia and Zimbabwe. The country is thus seeking to increase its domestic generation capacity and encourage private participation in the energy sector.

Thanks to the Modified Single Buyer (MSB) Model, through which Namibia’s electricity sector is facilitating market deregulation, IPPs are increasingly being allowed to contribute to energy production and export surplus energy to the Southern African Power Pool (SAPP).

The vision is that around 30% of what an IPP produces will be absorbed by the national power utility, with 70% being exported to the SAPP. And that energy is going to be produced by renewable sources that include solar, a perfect fit for a country with one of the highest irradiation levels in the world.

Solar is also used to produce green hydrogen, which has been hailed as the fuel of the future, powering the transportation of people and goods. Namibia is set to emerge as a major producer of green hydrogen thanks to two main factors: firstly, the country’s location, landscape and abundant natural resources, and secondly, the provision for deployment of blended financing that will help lower the capital costs required to construct the many huge PV systems involved in the production of the gas.

Community is key to success

Such ambitious goals need plenty of skilled staff, and a strong network to support, inform and collaborate. In South Africa, GREEN Solar Academy is at the very centre of the solar industry, connecting installers to each other, to distributors, and to the thought-leaders and policy makers in the sector.

To grow the same community in Namibia, GREEN has cultivated relationships with like-minded companies such as iseli-energy and the Renewable Energy Industry Association of Namibia (REIAoN). iseli-energy has branches in Johannesburg and Cape Town as well as Windhoek, and is a frequent collaborator with GREEN in alumni events in both countries.

REIAoN is a membership-based organisation for promoting the cause of companies and individuals active in Namibia’s commercial renewable energy and energy efficiency (RE&EE) sector. Part of their mission is to set the training standards in the country, maintain product quality and service standards, and establishing professional relationships with national and international bodies with similar objectives.

Discount for REIAoN members

Thanks to the alignment with GREEN, REIAoN members benefit from an exclusive 10% discount on all GREEN Solar Academy courses in Namibia. This cost-saving opportunity makes solar training more accessible, encouraging REIAoN members to invest in their skills to meet the growing requirements of a dynamic renewable energy field.

The training made the cover of ETANGO Magazine – click on the image to view the article.

The next 5-day SuperSolarSchool training takes place from 5 to 9 August. Early bird price is N$11 800 ex VAT (standard price is N$13 500 ex VAT).