Maputo, 24 Jul (AIM) – The Mozambican authorities on 23 July inaugurated the country’s first photovoltaic energy laboratory, intended to train students under the reform of technical and professional education.
The laboratory will also act as a resource and research centre for the public and private sectors.
This is the first laboratory of the kind in Mozambique, and it is operating out of the Maputo Industrial Institute. It is part of an increasing interest shown by the government in new and renewable sources of energy. Plans are also under way to build a factory that will produce photovoltaic systems.
The laboratory contains state-of-the-art equipment, assembled with the support of the German government’s International Cooperation Agency (AMES), as part of a programme on access to modern energy services. Building and equipping the laboratory cost €49,000 ($59.4 million).
Deputy Education Minister Leda Hugo said the laboratory should act as an instrument to improve technical knowledge of photovoltaic energy, and popularise it. She stressed that renewable energies are a potential solution to guarantee electrification of rural areas, particularly for schools, health units, public institutions and street lighting in the countryside.
One of the challenges facing Mozambique, she said, is to install sustainable systems in remote areas, where there is no maintenance and repair capacity. She believed the laboratory could help solve this problem.
“This laboratory is, par excellence, a centre of resources and training for students, and for technical staff in the public and private sectors”, she said. “Here our staff will learn how to plan, design, maintain and repair photovoltaic systems, and the equipment we import will undergo the necessary tests”.
A representative of the German Embassy, Silja Pieper, said that the laboratory seeks to create a response capacity nationally for maintaining and repairing existing systems, and to offer a modern infrastructure that will be a reference point for technical staff.
She announced that a group of 12 Mozambican technicians went to Germany to attend a three month training course on renewable energies, with a focus on photovoltaic systems. In all, the laboratory will have 24 trained staff.
The head of the solar and wind division of the government’s Energy Fund (FUNAE), Miguel Diogo, declared that the laboratory was needed to test the systems produced in the country, and to ensure adequate training of the staff to guarantee the sustainability of solar projects.
“Many Mozambican companies that are working with solar systems will now be able to use the laboratory to test the quality of their products”, he said.
Last year the government approved a national strategy on new and renewable sources of energy. Currently about 2.1 million Mozambicans are benefitting form electricity generated by renewable sources. (AIM)
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