Last edited: May 2019

The growing need for solar systems in Zambia also increases the need for expertise in this subject. This is mainly visible in a lack of (technological) knowledge. Examples of this are the need for trained technicians, the development of manuals and knowledge on local manufacturing.

Added value of solar training and education

The added value of solar training programs is significant, with benefits for both participants and (future) customers. The programs are designed to effectively transfer information and practical skills on, for instance, how to correctly install and maintain solar systems, and how to distinguish between high and low quality products in the market.A big challenge for Zambia is the amount of rural areas, away from cities where experts are located. Training extra people, especially in rural areas, will help solve this problem. Furthermore, participants who want to start or expand a business can benefit from training programs to strengthen their skills. For buyers of solar products, this is of great value. They rely on knowledgeable businesses and engineers to install reliable solar products and maintain them properly.

Solar training facilities

There are several solar training facilities in Zambia, from different providers. Most of these training facilities come from solar companies, sometimes together with NGOs and other players in the field. This can be for employees, but also for people from outside the company.

For example Copperbelt Energy, who collaborates with Copperbelt University (CBU) and Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) to provide a solar energy curriculum for CBU’s Master of Science in Electrical Engineering course.

ZESCO helped develop a workshop on non-dispatchable renewable energies integration into the grid with NGO RES4Africa and their supporters CESI, Enel Green Power and Terna. They trained 35 managers and technicians from ZESCO, the Ministry of Energy of Zambia and Energy Regulatory Body (ERB).

Another example is Suntech, where the directors founded the Pumulano Renewable Energy Centre in Kafue. They organize workshops for sizing, installing and maintaining solar systems. Furthermore, they offer specialist training sessions for, among others, power backup systems, solar water pumping installations and solar geyser installations on request.

Besides these companies providing training and education, ZARENA also wants to support the growing expertise on solar. They help their members to progress on skills and know-how.