3.5 Technical Capacity
A successful intervention to promote and upscale adoption of SPIS would require the technical capacity for solar solution providers to design, implement and maintain the systems. Lack of such capacity makes it difficult to sustain the SPIS market in the country or region. The availability of this capacity is especially crucial at the infancy stages of a market – this is the time when end users are introduced to the technology and when first impressions are critical to long-term adoption. As an example, poor installations leading to frequent SPIS breakdowns and lack of timely repairs on SPIS may result in a negative attitude towards SPIS by end users, limiting the market potential for SPIS.
Technical capacity evaluates the availability of skilled personnel for the installation and maintenance of SPIS. It may be inferred from:
- Availability of training courses on solar systems;
- Number of accredited institutions offering solar courses and;
- Licensing of solar technicians.
In addition to the presence of skilled technicians, the presence of a licensing and regulating body for SPIS practitioners is key. Licensing indicates the existence of standards of professionalism and a regulator for the market. For instance, the energy regulator in Kenya – Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) – registers all solar practitioners who have to adhere to a certain code of conduct and standards. It also maintains a members database that acts as a pool for obtaining qualified technicians for installation and maintenance of solar PV systems.
- Assessment of level of skilled capacity in the country/region
- List of solar training institutes and courses
- List of licensed technicians