The Centre for Research in Energy and Energy Conservation (CREEC) has successfully launched the CREEC Academy and the Mini-grids for Rural Development Training with co-funding by the German Cooperation, European Union and in partnership with E4D, VETToolbox, Strathmore Energy Research Centre, the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development and the East African Centre for Excellence in Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (EACREEE).
The training running from 1st – 5th May 2023 is aimed to equip participants with the necessary skills to design, install, and maintain solar minigrids. The new course will cover a wide range of topics, including solar energy fundamentals, minigrid design, project management, and financial analysis preparing experts to scale up minigrid projects in Uganda.
According to the Managing Director of CREEC, Mary Suzan Abbo “the new CREEC Academy will be a vehicle to accelerate capacity building and scale up the impact of capacity building programs and skills in the sector for Uganda and East Africa. She appreciated the role of development partners and the ministry of Energy and Mineral Development for the support over the years leading up to this moment. CREEC has ensure incorporate ingredients like knowledge management to ensure that the tools provided are usable to participants and this will be tracked by the Centre to ensure impact.
There is a knowledge gap in the renewable energy sector and therefore initiatives such as those by CREEC are commendable. “To achieve 100percent electrification will require energy professionals to be ably skilled”, mentioned the director of EACREEE. EACREEE will continue to support initiatives like those by CREEC and Strathmore Energy Research Centre in the advancement and development of renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies. He closed by encouraging the trainees to transfer the skills and knowledge from the training to other people in the same field and create an endless chain of learning.
The presence of high-profile guests from the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development, UNCDF and EACREEE added to the significance of the launch of the training program. Eng Simon Peter Sekitoleko assistant commissioner of Energy represented the state minister for Energy, Hon Okasai Opolot to preside over the launch of the event.
He remarked that “the growing penetration of renewables is stimulated by an increasing enabling environment as evidenced by the enhanced efforts by the government to promote private sector investment in the sector, such as the on-going regulatory framework reviews, capital subsidies for mini-grid projects, VAT tax waivers on imported Solar PV products. He also appreciated capacity building initiatives such as those by CREEC which are in alignment with the government’s commitment to enhance technical capacity in the energy sector through supporting skilling and training centres to not only build capacity but also promote innovation.”
This training program is an excellent example of how capacity building can contribute to sustainable development. CREEC is committed to continuing its efforts to empower individuals and organizations to contribute to the development of sustainable energy solutions.