Submitted by Ditiro Setlhaolo
Published 5 months ago
The Clean Energy Research Centre (CERC) in collaboration with the Solar Industry Association of Botswana (SIAB) hosted a number of representatives from social homes late last year. Due to restrictions imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic, the 'hybrid' half-day workshop was held in Gaborone, Botswana, and attracted more than 20 participants from orphanages, retirement homes, women’s shelters and children’s homes to inform them about the SOLTRAIN project, what it offers and how they can benefit from it.
The workshop was opened with a prayer from a volunteer followed by a welcoming from the Director of CERC, Dr Ditiro Setlhaolo, in which she thanked ADA for funding and AEE INTEC for managing the SOLTRAIN project. Dr Setlhaolo recognised the attendance of the Commissioner from the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development, Mrs E.C. Batsalelwang, the SOLTRAIN project Coordinator Werner Weiss, workshop presenters and all participants. She also expressed appreciation to the workshop organisers and wished all a productive engagement.
SOLTRAIN Project Coordinator, Werner Weiss, joined the meeting online from Austria, sharing the overall objectives of SOLTRAIN and covering the importance of standards in ensuring the longevity and efficacy of solar thermal systems, the formal design process, appropriate technical specifications and system monitoring necessary to ensure the success of any solar thermal project.
The commissioner from the Ministry of Local Government & Rural Development, Ms E.C. Batsalelwang, honoured CERC's invitation to the meeting and gave a presentation on social homes and housing systems, describing how her Ministry is responsible for providing houses for the less privileged. She went on to acknowledge the benefits that projects like SOLTRAIN could impart at the policy level so that solar water heating (SWH) systems can be integrated into the national housing plan.
The principal of Maruapula School which has two SOLTRAIN solar water heating systems installed, Mr Labbeaus Ditiro Peloewetse, shared insight into his school's experience with SOLTRAIN, specifically, the benefit of the 50% co-funding, system reliability and the energy cost savings that the school has realised since the installation of the school's systems.
A local expert in solar water heating, Mr Herman Ngwenya, MD of Capricon Solar and SIAB Treasurer, gave additional insight into the experience of the local solar industry with regard to the construction and operation of solar thermal systems in Botswana, and Dr Kevin Nwaigwe of CERC elaborated further on funding for SOLTRAIN demonstration systems and some of the processes to be followed.
The workshop was deemed to be a great success and was closed with a prayer.