Submitted by Samson Mhlanga
Published 4 months ago
Four SOLTRAIN policy workshops and three housing sector information workshops were convened in the latter part of November this year. Through these, a total of 66 people participated in the policy workshops held in Cape Town, Windhoek, Harare and Maseru, while the three housing sector information workshops included 25 participants.
The main purpose of the policy workshops, which were organized in close cooperation with SADC Centre of Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (SACREEE), was to mobilise funding for the implementation of the SOLTRAIN Solar Thermal Roadmaps and Implementation Plans that had been developed for all partner countries during phase 3 of the project.
The primary aim of the housing sector workshops was to inform about the potential of solar energy for hot water preparation in residential buildings.
In Zimbabwe, participants of the policy workshop included representatives from the Ministry of Energy and Power Development, Climate Change and Management Department in the Ministry of Environment, Climate Change, Tourism and Hospitality Industry, Ministry of Local Government and Public Works, Ministry of Local Government and Public Works in charge of building and maintenance of all government buildings, the Renewable Energy Association of Zimbabwe (REAZ) and universities. They all expressed enthusiasm for upgrading their knowledge and acquiring the necessary skills in order to realise the potential of solar thermal for clinics, hospitals, hostels, government apartments and other buildings.
Timing of the housing workshop was opportune, with a number of hospital and student resident projects being built around the country and financed by Infrastructure Development Bank of Zimbabwe. West Property, a housing company, also participated, sharing a technical challenge involving an apartment building installation for a hot water system with limited roof space.
Outcomes of the workshop included the establishment of a collaboration with local SOLTRAIN partners and regional and international partners, with technical input from AEE INTEC and the planning of a dissemination course by the local partners and National University of Science and Technology including advanced training supported by Rudi Moschik and Werner Weiss of AEE INTEC in the first quarter of 2021.
In Namibia the participants of the Policy workshop were mainly from NamPower (utility), Electricity Control Board (regulator), Ministry of Mines and Energy, Ministry of Environment, Forestry and Tourism, Ministry of Works and Transport Development, Bank of Namibia, Ministry of Finance, National Training Authority, United Nations Development Programme, National Youth Services and some private sector stakeholders.
In both the Zimbabwean and Namibian workshops, the need for the country Solar Thermal Roadmap and Implementation Plans to be converted into bankable documents was emphasised. The process of acquiring finance for this stage will be undertaken by these two countries.