Dr. Michael Blank, Delegation of German Industry and Commerce in Ghana (AHK Ghana), Dipl.-Ing. Antje Klauss-Vorreiter and Prof. Dr. Yao Azoumah, both GREEN Solar Academy West Africa, launched the Academy on 25th February 2020 in front of a selected audience of representants of the Ghanaian solar industry and local and international institutions working in photovoltaics in the region. The GREEN Solar Academy in Accra is the second GREEN Solar Academy in West Africa. Both are centrally managed by the GREEN Solar Academy West Africa, a Joint Venture of the GREEN Solar Academy PTY Ltd. (South Africa) and the Kya Energy Group (Togo). Part of the ceremony was also the first presentation of the Solar Hub West Africa, a cluster of European and African solar institutions with the objective to jointly develop new ideas, projects and business models that lead to sustainable use of renewable energy, as a basis for a resilient economy and green growth in West Africa.
About the concept
The newly founded GREEN Solar Academy Ghana offers short courses in the field of solar photovoltaic. The aim is to equip entrepreneurs and company staff members with the necessary knowledge to get started in practice as fast as possible. High quality training in terms of applicability of training content and practical experience of lecturers is a key factor to meet the demand for skilled personnel in the rapidly growing solar industry in Ghana.
The course that is offered is a 5-day comprehensive training called “SuperSolarSchool”. It starts on an entry level and allows not only engineers and technicians to gain knowledge on solar technology but is open to any who is interested and ambitious to make first steps in the solar market. The topics covered include basics of solar energy, system types and components, planning and design of systems and a practical installation exercise on a training roof. At the end of the training, the goal is for the participants to have not only a comprehensive understanding of solar technology but also to be able to plan and install solar systems and to be ready to start their first projects. In order to reach the best possible ratio of the amount of knowledge transferred and sustainable learning, modern teaching methods and interactive training elements are used.
In almost 10 years in the African training market, Antje Klauss-Vorreiter and Vivian Blümel, the two founders of the GREEN Solar Academy Pty Ltd., built up training academies in South Africa, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Angola and Mozambique. In 2011, the first training academy in South Africa under the name maxx-solar academy was founded with support from the German Solar Energy Society and the German company maxx-solar & energie. Since 2020 the academies operate under maxx-solar academy’s spin-off GREEN Solar Academy but are still managed centrally from the team in the headquarter in Weimar, Germany which also delivers the content of the lectures according to international quality standards. The training itself is performed by the local academies who know their country and participants best and can combine the German technology know-how with local experience.
Stepping into West Africa
West Africa became the focus of attention when the GREEN Solar Academy started a partnership with the Togolese KYA-Energy Group founded by Prof. Dr. Yao Azoumah end of 2018. With the founding of a joint venture between KYA-Energy Group and GREEN Solar Academy, the foundation for permanent activities in the region is laid, and with the Academy in Ghana, one of the most interesting and important markets of the region can be targeted.
And the demand is huge. The positive feedback of the attendees at the launch and the feedback during the discussion following the official part reflected the current situation of the market: a lot of potential and at the same time a lack of skilled solar installers and training opportunities. Dr. Blank from the Delegation of German Industry and Commerce in Ghana (AHK Ghana) opened the launch and praised the efforts of GREEN, „That investment in training will pave the way for more solar companies “.
Launch of the GREEN Solar Academy Ghana on 25th February 2020
And more companies are already on their way. Together with the GREEN Solar Academy, the Solar Hub West Africa was launched. Prof. Dr. Yao Azoumah explained “It is a cluster of European and West African companies with the joint goal of working together to develop new ideas, projects and business models that lead to sustainable use of renewable energy, as a basis for a resilient economy and green growth in West Africa.” One of the goals is to share infrastructure and resources to support the growth of the solar industry. Jan IJspeert, CEO of the German manufacturer BAE Batteries, congratulated the team on the official launch and said “working together on a new market entry brings many advantages, especially when local expertise becomes accessible for European companies.” The GREEN Solar Academy contributes with capacity building and training of the necessary staff.
So far 8 Ghanaian and 13 European companies and institutions have joined the Solar Hub West Africa, among them Tino Solutions, Takoradi University, Macht Energy, as well as the German BAE Batteries GmbH, the Germany Energy Society and of course also the South African GREEN Solar Academy. 06 of the local companies also agreed to partner in a job creation programme for youth lead by the German Solar Energy Society DGS to provide internships to solar newcomers from universities to support them with the entry in a professional solar career.
Training Dates and Information
The first SuperSolarSchool 5-day training will take place on 20-24 April 2020 in Accra. More information and following courses can be found on the internet at https://solar-training.org/solar-installation-courses/region-GH/.
For more information please contact Prof. Dr. Yao Azoumah, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Antje Klauss-Vorreiter, GREEN Solar Academy
Office: +27 (0) 21 813 6561, Whatsapp: +49 (0) 176 10303580