SOLTRAIN hands over demonstration trailer to University of Botswana


Submitted by Dr. Edwin Matlotse
Published 5 years, 11 months ago

The handing-over ceremony of a solar trailer to the University of Botswana’s Clean Energy Research Centre (CERC) took place in early March at the university’s Conference Centre. The 25,000.00 EURO trailer was donated to the institution by SOLTRAIN. During the ceremony, the keys to the trailer were handed over by Mr Rudi Moschik from AEE-INTEC to Deputy Vice Chancellor Academic and Student Affairs, Professor Martin M. Mokgwathi.

A parabolic solar cooker at work on a clear day used for testing solar cooking technologies.

“University of Botswana is the oldest and largest university in Botswana with a proud history of having served the nation diligently over the last 32 years of existence” said Mokgwathi, reminding the audience during his opening remarks that “the bulk of Botswana’s public and private sector leaders, managers, professionals, and officials had gone through the gates of this institution”.

He emphasized how “the trailer will serve to strengthen several areas of the University’s strategy, particularly engagement and entrepreneurship, and enhancing capabilities and research” and outlined some of SOLTRAIN Botswana’s key milestones to date, including the three solar thermal training courses conducted to date, the formation of the Botswana Solar Thermal Technology Platform and the preparation of the Botswana Solar Thermal Technology Roadmap for the period 2017-2030.

Director of the Clean Energy Research Centre (CERC), Dr. Edwin Matlotse, introduced details of the SOLTRAIN project to guests, emphasising the importance of information sharing among partner countries. He outlined SOLTRAIN’s aim to provide target countries with support towards transforming from a largely fossil fuel based energy supply system, to a sustainable supply structure based on renewable energy through training in the design, installation and maintenance of solar thermal systems used in heating and cooling.

“With this trailer, we will be able to undertake public awareness campaigns and enhance training as it demonstrates all of the solar thermal technologies,’’ he said, adding his assurance that CERC would make the demonstration project a great success. Dr. Matlotse concluded his remarks by thanking the SOLTRAIN project sponsors for preaching solar thermal comfort at the national and regional levels.

Guest speaker, the Permanent Secretary to the Ministry of Infrastructure and Housing Development, Mr. Dikagiso Bogatsu Mokotedi, delivered a keynote address, noting how, despite being a relative latecomer to the programme, SOLTRAIN Botswana had already made great strides in a very short period of time, particularly that the programme had trained 50 people so far. He further thanked SOLTRAIN for their concerted effort in ensuring that the country embarks on the use of solar thermal energy in heating and cooling.

The formalities were concluded with a tour of the trailer itself.