Our qualified instructor Ronald Hübner travelled to South Africa as a part of an educational support program of the European Union.
In the period from 11th to 15th February he visited the capital of Malawi. We asked him about his impressions and experiences.
Ronald, I am happy to welcome you here again.
Was it your first visit to Africa? And did you have any idea about what to expect?
Yes, it was my first time in Africa. I must say I was very excited. It took 24 hours to get there and when I finally arrived in Malawi I was welcomed by a beautiful green landscape, 30 degrees and sunshine. Honestly not as I expected, because I thought it was rain season.
What was your task?
My task was to train teachers in the EU education project with leXsolar's experimental systems. With the aim that the teachers would then be able to teach students at their schools and to pass on the knowledge about the functioning of technologies such as solar and wind energy
Which of our experimental systems did you introduce and what was a typical daily routine like?
I presented the experiment systems PV Professional, Wind Professional, ThermalEnergy Professional and SmartGrid Professional. I visited the technical college every day and presented an experimental system each day. On Friday, I presented a summary of all topics and afterwards a lecture about advantages and disadvantages of fossil and renewable energy sources.
How do you think the teachers adapted to the experimental systems and the new knowledge?
A total of 14 teachers took part in the training. Everyone was really interested in the experimental systems and the possibility to put the theoretical knowledge into practice. I think everyone, myself included, had a lot of fun with it.
Which topic were the participants most interested in?
I would say the topic SmartGrid was the best. Malawi has an electrification rate of about ten percent and the topic of intelligent power grids is therefore still completely new, because it has simply not yet been used. The experiment on storing of thermal energy generated a lot of enthusiasm.
What potential do you think renewable energies will have in Malawi in the future?
In Malawi a lot of energy and electricity is already being generated from hydropower. Solar energy in particular, but also wind energy have a very large potential. I hope that the country will continue on the path of renewable energies instead of relying on conventional energy sources such as coal and oil like other countries.
Although Malawi is one of the poorest countries in the world, its inhabitants are considered to be the friendliest and most generous people. How did you experience Malawi?
That is true, they are very kind people. In spite of the poverty, they are all very friendly and polite. I would say Malawi is truly the "Warm Heart of Africa".
Thank you for taking the time to give us a brief summary of the project in Malawi and the country in general.