In September-October 2016 Community Energy Malawi ,supported by The University of Strathclyde and funded by The Scottish Government, successfully trained-up 36 Malawians in PV installation and maintenance. The training addresses a capacity gap that is well recognised as a major limiting factor for the promotion of renewable energy in Malawi. The training also compliments a community-based approach to renewable energy implementation in Malawi. The training workshop covered:

  • PV system installation and panel alignment;
  • system care and security;
  • performance review and monitoring;
  • problem troubleshooting;
  • system sizing.

The participants were provided with a training manual (developed by The University of Strathclyde and Community Energy Malawi) which reviews all the above topics and is available for open access use.

The technician training was designed to ensure long-term utilisation and sustainability of the PV systems. Sustained growth in skills capacity is encouraged and strategic succession planning is in place; each technician will be required to train at least one more local person within a period of 2 years. This presents a vocational opportunity for local school leavers within their own community. CEM also provided each project with a set of technical materials as a starter pack to the technicians’ road to monitoring and maintaining PV systems as their main source of income.

Feedback from the participants was outstanding!… 96% said the training was excellent or good. 97% said the substantive content of the training workshop was excellent or good. All participants said the course lived up to their expectations.