Partnership results in discounts on solar training ahead of green hydrogen boom in Namibia

Recognizing the immense potential of the renewable energy sector in Namibia, Renewable Energy Industry Association of Namibia (REIAoN) has taken proactive steps to ensure that the country’s workforce is ready for the impending green energy boom. They are partnering with GREEN Solar Academy to equip their members with the knowledge and skills necessary to excel in the solar industry.

Thanks to this collaboration, REIAoN members will benefit from an exclusive 10% discount on all GREEN Solar Academy courses in Namibia, courses which cover the entire spectrum of solar technology, encompassing aspects such as design, installation, maintenance, and even financing. This cost-saving opportunity makes solar training more accessible, encouraging REIAoN members to invest in their skills to meet the growing requirements of a dynamic renewable energy field.

From Africa to Germany

The partnership between REIAoN and GREEN Solar Academy has its roots in a meeting at Intersolar in Germany earlier this year; GREEN then put REIAoN in touch with local academy partner Young Africa, an NGO with offices in both in Okahandja and Otjiwarongo that has been operating GREEN Solar Academy Namibia on GREEN’s behalf since 2019.

The two parties continued the conversation started halfway across the world and conceived of the exclusive discount as a way to incentivize participation for REIAoN members. This collaboration will not only enhance the capabilities of Namibian installers but will also contribute to the growth of the country’s green energy sector.

GREEN Solar Academy directors Antje Klauss-Vorreiter (bottom left) and Vivian Bluemel (top left) meet with Jan-Barend Scheepers (centre) and Paulus Mulunga (bottom right) from Renewable Energy Industry Association of Namibia (REIAoN) and Elizabeth Ipangelwa from giz at Intersolar in Germany in June 2023. Image: GSA

Namibian conditions ideal for solar PV

Namibia’s abundant sunshine has always made it an ideal candidate for harnessing solar power. With vast, sun-drenched landscapes, solar energy has gained significant traction as a clean and sustainable energy source. As technology advances and costs decrease, solar installations have been on the rise across the country. Namibians are increasingly recognizing the economic and environmental benefits of solar power, not only reducing electricity bills but also contributing to a cleaner environment.

Green hydrogen in focus

However there’s another reason that properly-trained PV experts will soon be in high demand in Namibia and it’s called green hydrogen – the clean fuel source of the future for travel and transportation. This time, you’re not simply using solar to produce electricity to charge electrical vehicles, you’re creating a portable gas that can propel trains, planes and automobiles.

The whole world is seeking to cut down on their carbon emissions and move away from internal combustion engine vehicles, and there’s just one word on everyone’s lips – green hydrogen. The fuel is termed green because only renewable energy sources, like solar, are used in its creation. And Namibia has in abundance the sun, wind and oceans required to be a major producer of green hydrogen.

Leapfrogging the carbon-heavy stage of industrialisation

Namibia is a country with relatively low industrialisation. Green hydrogen, says James Mnyupe, economic advisor to the president of Namibia, could potentially allow the country to leapfrog the carbon-heavy stage of industrialisation and go straight to low-carbon industry, emerging as an international energy player able to establish lucrative foreign markets. Mnyupe explained in mid-2023 that “the project is so large and so significant, that it actually enables other industries to flourish… it’s a harbinger of prosperity for the rest of the country.”

A sophisticated capital market in Namibia allows for the construction of various financial instruments that allow for the deployment of blended financing; this helps lower the cost of capital required for the construction of these projects, and is making Namibia an attractive place to consider building green hydrogen assets.

Huge call for professional PV installers lies ahead

And when those green hydrogen assets are PV solar systems, there is going to be a huge call for professionals to undertake the installation. Filling the skills and knowledge gaps of service providers will be the key to unlocking the full potential for investment in PV in Namibia, and this partnership has opened the doors to world-class training and empowering individuals with the expertise required to contribute to a sustainable energy future.

Author: Bryan Groenendaal

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