Green People's Energy for Africa - Knowledge Hub - Skills Development

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Green People's Energy for Africa
Knowledge Hub

Skills Development

In order to accelerate the distribution of decentralised renewable energy systems, skills development plays a fundamental role. Spreading skills among local communities strengthens awareness, implementation and sustainability of DRE systems.

I. Overview

Promoting decentral renewable energy access, productive use and a just energy transition depends on expanding skills – especially to rural areas. IRENA estimates that off-grid renewables for energy access can create at least 4.5 million jobs by 2030 which will require skilled workers. It has already become apparent in recent years that while demand for decentralised renewable energy solutions is growing, the shortage of skilled professionals spanning all steps of the process from financing, to design, installation, operation and maintenance is slowing down the rapid rise of DRE technologies.

Especially in rural areas, lack of skilled professionals leads to:

  • little knowledge about and low awareness of DRE systems,
  • few distribution networks and business models for sales, operation and maintenance,
  • lack of access-to-finance for end-users, and
  • low-quality system installations and poor sustainability.

The German government’s Green People’s Energy for Africa initiative aims to improve skills development offers for key stakeholders in the decentralised renewable energy ecosystem (e.g. technicians, sales agents, extension officers, credit institutes, teachers). To achieve its goal, GBE supports vocational training institutes and technical universities to offer new and improved practical training modules for professionals.

Training modules

  • are short courses targeted at local professionals with some experience (and in some cases also students)
  • provide practical skills to better plan, finance, implement, operate and maintain decentralised renewable energy systems
  • focus on productive use technologies (solar irrigation, solar cooling, solar drying, solar water heaters), solar PV systems and mini-grids

The GBE skills development approach include

  • Training needs analysis and selection of partner training institutes
  • Private sector-led development of curricula and training handbooks
  • Supply of demo systems, training stands and materials for partner schools
  • Training of trainer (ToT) – programmes
  • Roll-out of short-course training modules in cooperation with trained trainers
  • Facilitation of practical placements for trained professional
  • Sustainability of the new training offers, ensured either by integrating them in existing national TVET structures or cooperating with business-oriented schools.

II. Case Studies

The case studies and factsheets linked below showcase the variety of measures focused on skills development within the Green People's Energy programme. From technical trainings, management and business development to financing, the interventions improved the opportunities for professionals and key stakeholders in the solar sector by offering them the necessary skills.

Case Studies

Small Projects Fund

III. Publications

The GBE Thematic Knowledge Products are designed to share the knowledge and learnings about the topics gathered during the implementation and to make them accessible for practitioners. The following knowledge product outlines GBE approaches to skills development for renewable energies and shares key learnings and recommendations from GBE projects.

IV. Countries

Blue flags show the location of the relevant Small Projects Fund projects. The relevant case studies can be seen by hovering over the green highlighted countries.

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