Lesotho’s first Solar Thermal Technology Roadmap meeting was held during the second week of October at the Avani Lesotho Hotel in Maseru. Although only 26 of expected 40 participants attended, the gathering consisted of a diverse set of stakeholders in the renewable energy and allied fields, including solar companies, the Department of Energy, Lesotho Electricity and Water Authority (LEWA), research and academic institutions, sponsors and others.
Puleng Mosothoane from SOLTRAIN Lesotho’s implementation partner organisation, the Bethal Business and Community Development Centre (BBCDC), conducted the welcoming address, followed by a presentation outlining the SOLTRAIN project by Werner Weiss from AEE INTEC. A presentation on solar thermal systems in the Lesotho market and solar thermal applications by Sehlooho Holomo from BBCDC and a presentation on the renewable energy policy and possibilities for co-operation with SOLTRAIN by Dr. Thabang Phuroe from the Department of Energy, were also part of the proceedings.
All participants became the proud owners of a SOLTRAIN t-shirt which we reported on in the previous SOLTRAIN newsletter as part of our awareness-raising activities.
A second meeting is planned for the 18th and 19th of January 2017, preceded by a technical tour to Pitseng, where participants will have the opportunity to observe and learn more about the systems installed there through the SOLTRAIN programme. These include a 3000 litre solar thermal system with 15 collectors, a 2000 litre solar thermal system with 12 collectors and a 5 kilowatt solar photovoltaic system.
Other recent SOLTRAIN developments in Lesotho
- A parent’s meeting was held at the BBCDC in late October at which display stations were set up. Parents were able to familiarise themselves with the PV systems installed with the funding from SOLTRAIN and other solar products, including the box cooker, the parabolic solar cooker and the fruit dyers.
- The BBCDC hosted students from National University of Lesotho (NUL) on an educational tour, where they were also able to see the various technologies mentioned above, as well as the new rondavel with the rotating, solar-tracking roof and the demonstration solar thermal system.
- Work has begun on five solar water heater demonstration systems at Malealea Lodge by Stephen Lelimo.
- SOLTRAIN’s advertising run with the Lesotho Times is entering its fifth month with an advertisement placed in the third week of each month. This is in addition to the other awareness initiatives which we highlighted in the last newsletter, including weekly radio slots, SOLTRAIN t-shirts and brochures which are made available at each locally convened event.