The impact of the SERC based solar PV outreach training program in Kenya
Da Silva, Izael Pereira
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In this paper it is described how Strathmore Energy Research Centre developed an outreach project funded by USAID, National Science Foundation (NSF) to empower technical institutions to offer solar courses hence creating a pool of qualified technicians spread throughout the geography of the country. Presently the situation is that Kenya has around 1000 solar technicians working in the market with no formal solar PV training or accreditation. The National Industrial Training Authority NITA, which regulates nonacademic skills or craft based training, was helped by this project to develop a PV solar curriculum at three levels (T1/T2/T3) which empowers from craft level technicians to engineers to deal with design, installation and maintenance of PV systems from solar lantern up to utility size level. ERC, the Energy Regulatory Commission for Kenya has supported the initiative as technicians once trained can be accredited by and thus further strength the industry. By June 2016, which is the end of the program, Kenya is to have 1800 accredited technical personnel near almost every major town in the country. The paper describes the positive and negative aspects of this venture.