Independent training institute

The GREEN Solar Academy PTY Ltd. is an independent training provider. The GREEN Solar Academy is the successor academy of the maxx-solar academy. The GREEN solar academies follow the German DGS SolarSchool approach and all academies and courses are accredited by the German Solar Energy Society (DGS).

GREEN stands for Global Renewable Energy & Efficiency Network as our goal is not only to provide training but to build up a network of PV installers all over Africa. GREEN is the link between manufacturers, wholesalers, associations and PV installers, our alumni.

Our services are:

  • Global Renewable Energy & Efficiency Network
  • Photovoltaic training courses in our academies
  • Inhouse and customised photovoltaic training courses
  • Solar training consultancy (training programme development, training of trainers, curriculum and TTLM* development)
  • Project management

*Teacher Training and Learning Materials

The GREEN Approach

The GREEN Solar Academies are centrally organised and locally implemented following the approach of the German DGS SolarSchools. The GREEN Solar Academy PTY Ltd. develops the training programme, trains all trainers and manages the local GREEN Academies. The task of the individual academies is to conduct the course in their regions with local GREEN acradited trainers. This approach guaranties:

  • Uniform course content at all locations
  • International recognition
  • Local capacity building
  • Local ownership

The approach of all trainings through the GREEN Solar Academy is to be as practical as possible. All courses place considerable emphasis on hands-on exercises to not only teach theoretical knowledge but practical application. GREEN training follows modern teaching methods, such as interactive sessions, learning questions and different types of self-tests to ensure the optimal learning effect. The training programmes are product-neutral and are continuously updated to keep pace with market requirements and trends.

By involving industry partners already in the courses, we make sure that there is always a practical connection to the industry. After training more than 2500 PV installers in Africa, we have built up a strong and widespread network that includes among others installation companies, EPCs, manufacturers, consultants, public and governmental players.

Already during the training, we encourage the participants to exchange and network. For many participants, the training is the first step into a successful business, and we offer several complimentary services to our alumni to help them grow. Read more about the GREENetwork here.

Our History

The Beginning

We started out in 2011, when a German solar company, maxx-solar & energie, and a German NGO, the German Solar Energy Society DGS, joined forces to promote the use of solar energy in South Africa. Together they founded a company called maxx|solar energy (Pty) Ltd.

maxx-solar & energie brought its experience as photovoltaics service provider, including the planning, construction and maintenance of residential, commercial or agricultural PV power plants to the company. The German Solar Energy Society DGS brought its international experience in solar training programme development and implementation and its independent training program to the company and to South Africa. As solar energy was still at its beginning in South Africa, this 2 in 1 solution was perfect to develop the market.

maxx-solar inauguration Pretoria

Inauguration of the maxx-solar academy in Gauteng, 2012 at AHK Pretoria

stocktake at maxx-solar energy

Stocktake at maxx-solar’s warehouse in Johannesburg

Wholesale market experience

maxx|solar energy (Pty) Ltd. used the training academy to come in touch with the local installers and to understand the local market. It quickly became clear that the greatest need of the solar installers was the availability of quality equipment. All academy participants were searching for products after they did the training and at that time the availability of solar products was still limited. To respond to this need maxx started to build up a wholesale business with selected quality material provided by the well-know German wholesaler IBC Solar.

Also, for the trainings the wholesale activities brought a great benefit: through the close contact to installation companies which we keep until today, we were able to adjust the training content to latest market requirements.

Over time, the market grew and grew further (thanks to the first wave of load shedding!) and the team decided to deepen the partnership with IBC Solar. A joint venture was founded in 2017 and up to today, the IBC Solar South Africa PTY Ltd. is one of the biggest solar wholesalers in South Africa.

Becoming an international training provider

The South African maxx|solar then only concentrated on trainings and training consulting and the maxx-solar academy became the main brand. The market continued to develop and the maxx solar academy collaborated with various wholesalers and manufacturers. The activities were extended also to the neighbouring countries: Namibia and Zimbabwe in 2016, Lesotho in 2017 and Angola, Togo and Mozambique in 2019.

With more and more international branches, consulting activities for NGOs, municipalities or development collaboration entities such as giz and the increasing number of industry collaborations, it became clear that we needed to take the next step to make the academy totally independent. We needed to turn it into a pure training institute. So end of 2019, we took the decision to take the academy out of the South African maxx-solar energy PTY Ltd and re-found it under the name GREEN Solar Academy. GREEN stands for Global Renewable Energy and Efficiency Network and was chosen to reflect the relevance of the network in the overall academy concept.

From 1st January 2020, GREEN continues the work of the maxx|solar academy with the vision to educate as many people as possible and contribute leading Africa into a green future.

solar basics training at giz

Sunrise Intermediate off-grid Training in Mozambique for giz