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DVC Prof. Izael’s Paper Published on National Academies of Sciences.Engineering.Medicine

Strathmore University opened doors to the first trainees of the East Africa SMA Training Academy in June 2015, in a bid to equip engineers on fuel saving technology, providing expertise and advanced training tailored to participants on SMA products and photovoltaics. Deputy Vice Chancellor Strathmore University and the pioneer of this training, Prof. Izael Da Silva collaborated with a US Partner Benjamin L. Ruddell from Arizona State University, to write a paper that tackles this new venture. The informative paper dubbed Development and implementation of a solar PV outreach training module for capacity building in East Africa, was published in The National Academies of Science. Engineering. Medicine.


In the paper, Prof. Izael and Benjamin discuss the predicament engineers in Kenya face due to the lack of proper training in this field. There are approximately 800-1,000 solar PV technicians working in the Kenyan market currently, with the majority having no formal training or certification. These practitioners are meant to provide the necessary service to end-users as the demand for solar PV systems is high especially in rural areas of the country. The regulations have been developed with the intention of improving the delivery of design, installation and maintenance services within the solar PV sector in Kenya. The regulations require that only licensed technicians are allowed to design and install solar PV systems, and to be licensed, technicians must have undertaken a solar training course.

In the paper, the writers have discussed the benefits of carrying out such trainings, stating that this trainings will support the government of Kenya in promoting a wider adoption of renewable energy solutions. The project will support ongoing efforts by the Government of Kenya to promote wider adoption of renewable energy solutions and thus increase and improve access to sustainable energy especially in rural and marginalized areas in Kenya. The project will be implemented in close collaboration with the Ministry of Energy, ERC, and NITA. It will also lead to strengthening of national institutions through capacity development of national training institutions. The project will contribute to increased access to modern and renewable energy in rural and peri-urban areas of Kenya through access to quality solar home systems.

To read more on this research, visit the National Academies of Science. Engineering. Medicine by clicking here.