The SOLTRAIN project's aim is to create new jobs at small and medium enterprise level and to initiate and/or to strengthen political support mechanisms for solar thermal systems.The project is financed by the Austrian Development Agency (ADA) and implemented by the AEE (Institute for Sustainable Technologies, Austria) in cooperation with project partners from South Africa (Sustainable Energy Society of Southern Africa and Stellenbosch University), the Polyetchnic of Namibia, Eduardo Mondlane University and N&M Logotech Lda. in Mozambique and the Domestic Solar Heating project in Zimbabwe.

The project's aims should be achieved by building up training capacities in the participating countries in the field of solar thermal technology and the improvement of the quality, performance and lifetime of solar thermal systems. As part of the project, 50 demonstration systems for social institutions (hospitals, orphanages, homes for elderly people, HIV/AIDS institutions etc.) will be installed in order to increase the hygienic standard of the these social institutions and to significantly reduce the energy cost for water heating. The project focuses on three target groups:Training institutions like universities and other training centres - In cooperation with the training institutions a comprehensive solar thermal market report will be prepared for each participating country. Furthermore solar thermal systems of different sizes will be monitored and analysed. Comprehensive training of the key groups for production, installation and implementing of solar thermal systems will also be a key component of the activity carried out by the training institutions. In total 9 training courses for professionals will be carried out.Small and medium enterprises (companies working in the field of solar water heaters) - Small and medium enterprises are invited to take part in the training courses. They will be supported also in the optimization of their solar thermal systems by individual consulting but also by component testing. The solar thermal companies will take over also the installation of 50 demonstration systems at social institutions.Policy and administration - In cooperation with policy and administration political and financial support mechanisms will be developed for renewable energies in general and solar thermal in particular.Please visit the SOLTRAIN project's website for more information.Project Contact Details:Dieter HolmSoltrain Coordinator Southern Africa and SESSA Organiser for GautengCell: +27 (0)83 287 3220P.O.Box 58 Hartbeespoort 0216