Huawei is ramping up the process of growing the Kenyan pool of trained solar engineers and technical specialists amid an upward tick in energy prices and demand for solar-powered electricity connections.
The firm has announced a new program known as Thousand Digital Power Talents to add 1,000 professionals to the growing national pool of solar specialists. This move, said the company’s President of Southern Africa Digital Power Business Mr. Xia Hesheng, is designed to bridge the gap in trained and certified professionals that has been dogging the renewables energy sector.
Huawei will host 25 training sessions in the remainder of 2022 and throughout 2023. The sessions, including theoretical and practical learning, will upskill solar practitioners with knowledge of digital power technology and solutions, as well as practical installation skills.
“Sales of solar solutions have been growing at a sustained rate of over 10 % per year for the last ten years and are expected to maintain this growth rate for the foreseeable future. When it comes to the design and installation of more complex systems above 1 kWp, there is a lack of significant engineering capacity at all levels,” said Mr. Xia.
Kenya has one of the most active solar markets with an installed capacity in the range of 4 MW. It is estimated that about 200,000 households in Kenya have solar home systems while annual sales in the country are between 25,000 to 30,000 modules.
He noted that the drive to increase the population of local technicians skilled in setting up and servicing solar systems is important as Kenya’s energy field suffers from a lack of skilled personnel qualified to design, install, and effectively maintain modern energy systems.
Xia explained that it will add to the more than 1000 technicians that have received practical, hands-on training from Huawei’s program run in partnership with Strathmore University. The new program, he said, is part of a regional coordinated effort targeting Kenya, South Africa, and Nigeria to optimally utilize the continent’s immense potential in terms of renewables and solar energy.
“African countries have more than 40% of the world’s solar energy resources, it’s crucial to have the right talent to tap into that potential. Through our Thousand Digital Power Talents Programme, we are committed to strengthening the local talent ecosystem and driving further industry growth in Africa with local partners,” said Xia
“The only way to the grow solar industry ecosystem in the region is through capacity building and talent developing programs like this,” said Xia adding that solutions that integrate digital and power electronics technologies will play a major role in creating more value for users and partners.