BRIGHT Project convened a workshop on October 31st 2013 at Crowne Plaza in Nairobi that brought together 60 participants from various government ministries and agencies, acadaemia, private sector and NGOs. The workshop was held to present findings of a survey that the BRIGHT Project had commissioned on Training Needs Assessment (TNA) of small wind energy systems in Kenya. Eng. Kiremu Magambo of Rencon Associates Ltd, an expert in renewable energy with experience in the energy sector in Kenya stretching back three decades was commissioned to carry out the survey. He presented his findings and recommendations to the participants, who then discussed and shared their views about the findings.
This was the second workshop that the BRIGHT Project has organized after the successful one held in August 2012 at Silver Springs hotel in Nairobi. In that workshop, a survey presented had identified wind energy as the second most popular form of renewable energy after Solar PV. After a successful launch of the Solar PV curriculum and training courses in 2013, a similar strategy was adopted for wind energy and therefore the need for this TNA survey.
The survey found that currently, there are no institutions that offer any courses in small wind energy systems. Although wind energy is taught in the Kenyan universities, it is usually as a unit in some departments, and there is little information on small wind energy systems. Only JKUAT offers a small wind energy course, and only on request. There is no training on wind energy in the TTIs. The survey also found that the lecturers in the universities and TTIs are qualified academically, but would need further and specialized training in small wind energy systems to build capacity in this area. The small wind energy market is still small and there are few companies that manufacture wind turbines and windmills. Most of the turbines are imported and most of the technicians in the market are not adequately trained. The survey found that there is a need to develop a training course for small wind energy systems, and most stakeholders interviewed are willing to pay for such training.
The response from the participants was very good. Many thought that this survey was long overdue, and many hoped that this would form the basis of developing a curriculum for small wind energy training. Some recommended that the training courses should be tailored for the various stakeholders in acadaemia, technicians in the private sector, and policy makers in the government. Most participants also expressed willingness to participate either in the development of the curriculum, or the training on small wind energy systems when it is launched.