SOLTRAIN

SOLTRAIN is a regional project on capacity building and demonstration of solar thermal systems in the SADC region. This project, which already started in 2009 in South Africa, Namibia, Mozambique and Zimbabwe, is financially supported by the Austrian Development Cooperation.

 

SOLTRAIN is a regional project on capacity building and demonstration of solar thermal systems in the SADC region. This project, which already started in 2009 in South Africa, Namibia, Mozambique and Zimbabwe, is financially supported by the Austrian Development Cooperation.

The Lesotho project partner for SOLTRAIN is the Bethel Business and Community Development Centre (BBCDC) located in Mt. Moorosi. Since its inception, this institution has taken the lead in harnessing solar energy for its own purposes, and is teaching solar energy utilization as a core curriculum component. BBCDC also operates a full-fledged energy services sales division which includes photovoltaics (PV) and solar water heating along with comprehensive construction solutions.

The overall goal of this project is to contribute to the switch from a fossil fuel based energy supply to a sustainable energy supply system based on renewable energies.

This will be achieved by awareness creation and building up training capacities in Lesotho in the field of solar thermal technology and the improvement of the quality, performance and lifetime of solar thermal systems. In addition, the project aims to support the creation of new jobs for small and medium enterprises and is going to initiate and strengthen political support mechanisms for solar thermal systems in Lesotho.

In the coming 3 years the project will focus on the following three main issues:

Awareness raising campaigns

Focused awareness campaigns on solar thermal systems will be carried out to inform all relevant stakeholders and the interested population about the different applications of solar thermal energy and its positive impact on security of energy supply, poverty reduction, employment creation and the protection of the environment. These activities are embedded in the regional cooperation where shared booklets, brochures, leaflets are published and also a common website is available.

Training courses on solar thermal technology

Up to now, Lesotho does not have an established centre for solar thermal information and support. This is why, focused training courses will be carried out in co-operation with the partner organization BBCDC. For this purpose, two training and demonstration systems will be installed and equipped with monitoring equipment at the BBCD.
Planned training programmes range from practical hands-on trainings to a university level course.

Demonstration systems for social institutions

In order to apply the knowledge gained during the training courses and to further increase public awareness, about 20 solar thermal demonstration systems of different sizes and applications will be installed at social institutions and small and medium enterprises in cooperation with local companies.

Renewable energy solution for Lesotho

Lesotho lacks fossil fuel deposits and is forced to import all fuel needed for the country’s transportation and heating needs. Expenditures on non-renewable fuels negatively affect foreign exchange balances. At the same time, Lesotho’s solar resource is exceptional, so it makes great sense to use all necessary means to harness solar energy.
The Department of Energy (DOE), which is part of the Ministry of Natural Resources, is the government department responsible for the implementation of all energy policies. DOE is responsible for overall national energy policy, coordination and monitoring of energy programs and projects.

Provision of modern energy services is in line with the strategic intervention pillars of the Poverty Reduction and Growth Strategy (PRGS) and the Country Strategy Paper (CSP) for Lesotho (2008–12), which are, in turn, derived from the Lesotho’s Vision 2020.

Under the UNDP/GEF-supported LREBRE Project, a total of 5000 solar home systems (SHS) will be installed. These systems will bring basic electricity to the target groups by installing PV systems.

SOLTRAIN will complement the PV activities by a solar thermal project component. The project will focus on all national targets as described above.

 

The project leader is AEE INTEC, an Austrian based institute that has been working in solar thermal energy research, training and demonstration worldwide for the past 25 years.

For further information on the project please contact:
Ivan Yaholnitsky from BBCDC, e-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Werner Weiss, AEE INTEC, e-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 Soltrain2 - Launch in Lesotho: disussions with Werner Weiss

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Soltrain2 - Launch in Lesotho: discussions with Werner Weiss