The Energising Development project (EnDev) implemented by Deutsche Gesellschaft fur Internationale Zusammenarbiet (GIZ) has on Friday 5th February 2021 concluded a five-day specialized technical training workshop on renewable energy for solar technicians in Sierra Leone.
The five-day training workshop which was held at the Biodiversity and renewable Energy learning center at Sussex Freetown targets about 40 solar/ renewable energy technicians from different renewable energy businesses and organizations and about 8 students. Among the participants, there were about 20 women. The training was centered on knowledge such as the use of new solar energy storage technology such as the Lithium-ion battery, accurate and long lasting panel installations techniques, experience sharing among technicians and among others.
Johannes Weber one of the leading solar energy experts from Germany during the training disclosed that the use of the lithium-ion battery in solar installation is a new thing in Sierra Leone but could be a great achievement for the country renewable energy development. The widely used solar battery storage system here in Sierra Leone is the lead-acid battery which is believed to be gradually making way for the Lithium-ion battery in solar installation system in advance countries. Weber, discussed with the participants the advantages of the lithium-ion battery in solar storage system and believe that the training will enhance technicians in the country to be capable of doing solar installation using the lithium-ion battery storage system. Hence solar panel installation and battery storage system are inextricably linked.
Participants at the training were given opportunity to tour around the newly completed solar installation lithium-ion battery storage at the Freetown Cold Storage Company at Kingtom which has a storage capacity of 77kwp. This according to Johannes Weber is the first solar energy lithium-ion battery storage in the Mano river region.
One of the beneficiaries of this training Edmond Margai the operation manager of Reach out Sierra Leone, a green energy solution organization operating in Sierra Leone described the training as an eye opener to the new technology of renewable energy and his organization is proud and happy to be part of the training as it will advance their knowledge on renewable energy technology. Leo Moni of mobile power organization said that he is happy to be part of the training as his organization is working 98 percent on batteries as such knowledge on the use of lithium-ion battery is a plus to him and his organization. Representative from the Renewable Energy Association (REASL) Golda Williams encouraged renewable energy organization and business to be part of the association as such kind of training by EnDev GIZ are one of the many benefits members can get. She added that the association is open to attract more members as that can boost the renewable energy industry in Sierra Leone.
Sierra Leone is still struggling with electricity supply, only a few of the country’s population enjoy electricity as such one can see the growing development of renewable energy as hope for energy in many homes across the country. The climate in Sierra Leone is believed to be intrinsically favorable for harnessing solar energy.
The Energising Development (EnDev) is an energy access partnership financed by the Netherland, Germany, Norway, United Kingdom, Switzerland and Sweden and implemented in 26 countries in Africa, Asia, and Latin America by the Netherlands Agency and of the Deutsche Gesllschaft fur Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ)