This February, political and business decision-makers in South Africa will be able to attend a programme to enhance their knowledge about renewable energies.
In its sixth year, the German-based Renewables Academy (RENAC), brings their international capacity building project TREE (Transfer Renewable Energy & Efficiency) to South Africa. The programme is sponsored by the German Federal Ministry of Economics as part of their “renewables – Made in Germany” initiative. It displays the German Government’s commitment to contribute to climate protection through the international promotion of renewable energy technology.
The first seminar session to be held in Durban from 11-15 February is supported by the eThekwini, Municipality, South African National Energy Development Institute (SANEDI) and the German Chamber of Commerce. It will focus on “Off-Grid Rural Electrification” and will cover topics including photovoltaic, wind energy and hydro power. Taking place in Johannesburg from 18-22 February the second session themed “Solar Thermal Large Scale” is supported by the PD Naidoo & Associates (PDNA) Academy and Solar Heat Exchangers (Pty) Ltd.
This session will cover the differences between small- and large-scale systems, basic system schematics, components, basic system design and system simulation with software T*Sol, case studies, testing, inspection and safety requirements, quality control and maintenance, simulation software, project management and economics.
Political framework a must
As Kevin Nassiep, Chief Executive Officer of SANEDI said: “Renewable energy technologies can contribute to economic growth in South Africa. However, for sustainable growth a suitable political framework is required. Capacity building measures within the TREE project are instrumental in supporting the development of renewables through crucial knowledge. Therefore projects such as TREE deserve to be fostered.”
The programmes will be presented by industry experts Martin Schnauss, Dylan Tudor-Jones and Professor Peter Adelmann, each with vast knowledge and experience spanning over 20 years. Additionally, guest speaker, State Secretary Stefan Kapferer from the German Ministry of Economy will be attending the seminar in Johannesburg as an official representative.
Although the South African government has already been promoting the development of renewable energy for many years, there are still a number of challenges to overcome if a steady rate of growth is to be achieved such as the poor grid network and lack of experience in financing sustainable energy projects. The aim of the seminars in the context of the TREE programme in South Africa is to educate the relevant authorities about the fundamentals of hybrid technologies for rural electrification and solar thermal systems, and provide them with the expertise to be able to establish suitable conditions for project funding.
Specialised solutions for rural areas
The courses will also focus on cost estimation, and the design of specialised solutions for rural areas.
“To enhance the development of renewable energy, know-how about technologies, promotion mechanisms, economics and financing is fundamental. We therefore aim to contribute to South Africa through the TREE project,” states Tina Völker, TREE Project Director at RENAC.
To prepare for the seminars, delegates can participate in RENAC’s online training. Further, they will have the opportunity to travel to Germany to continue the training at RENAC’s Renewable Energy Training Centre in Berlin.
The international TREE project, launched by RENAC, has been running since 2008. To date, policy makers and business participants from 51 countries across the world have undertaken training as part of the programme at no cost. South Africa has been a partner country in the project since 2008.