University parters meet in Nairobi for the Course Uptake Workshop

By Nomanesi Machonco, 20 June 2023

The TEA-LP Course Uptake Workshop (5 to 9 June 2023) was hosted at the Strathmore Business School, at Strathmore University in Nairobi. The workshop brought together new and old partner universities from Sub-Saharan African and welcomed new partners from South Asia and the Indo Pacific. This workshop focussed on the uptake of the 3 new Master’s level courses developed by the TEA-LP.

On day one of the workshop our new university partners introduced  themselves in regional groups. Nicole Gregory from the British High Commision Nairobi provided opening remarks.

Harriet Bradshaw Smith, from the Carbon Trust introduced,  the TEA platform and  contextualised  TEA-LP within TEA; she also presented opportunities within the partnership.

Professor Izeal Pereira Da Silva, a Professor at Strathmore University, and the Deputy Vice-Chancellor of Research and Innovation, welcomed guests to Strathmore University  and shared insights about Strathmore Energy Research Centre.

Leslie Ashburner and Kai Forester from the TEA-LP  presented the course delivery guidelines for all three courses. The participants were given an opportunity to ask questions and provide constructive feedback on tailoring these guidelines for their contexts. The group work sessions allowed course design leads and university partners from phase 1 an opportunity to provide valuable insights into the course design and uptake process, showing the importance of collaboration.

After this session, participants were taken to the Strathmore Energy Research Centre, where a staff member from the centre showcased the Lab’s solar teaching facilities.

Participants at the Strathmore Energy Research Centre with  staff member showing participants solar panels used during practicals

On  the second day of the workshop Prof Augustine Makokha presented on Course 1  – ‘Local solutions for Clean Energy Access’. Prof Makokha delved into the main purpose of the course, which aims to:

  • Provide a framework for understanding the off-grid or distributed renewable energy (DRE) sector;
  • Impart the necessary skills and knowledge to contribute to local and regional distributed renewable energy (DRE) solutions for EA;
  • Introduce the latest developments in the EA, in terms of technology solutions, energy demand, socio-economic aspects, business models, financial and policy options as well as environmental considerations.
  • Open options for career paths or entrepreneurship opportunities in the EA sector.

He then presented on the six units covered in the course, detailing the content that would be covered,  and learning outcomes and  key concepts.

Course lead, Prof Augustine Makokha presenting  on Course 1

The participants engaged with the presentation and provided  insightful feedback. The participants were then split into smaller groups for discussion on how Course 1 would be adopted.

Participants grouped into smaller group to discuss Course 1

On the third day Prof Moeketsi Mpholo presented on ‘Why Mini-grids’ in the ‘Mini-grids: Planning & Design’ course session. This was followed by an engaging discussion and practical examples for mini-grid design and implementation using a mini-grid project in Lesotho as practical case study. He then delved into the four units covered in the course: Unit 1: Policy and Regulatory Matters, Unit 2: Feasibility Study -Technical (incl. Demand assessment), Unit 3: Technical Design (System Architecture and Components) and Unit 4: Project Development (Business Models and Financing Options). Feedback about the course was provided, followed by a group discussion on adapting and adopting the course.

Course lead, Prof Moeketsi Mpholo presenting on course 2

Partner universities  provided feedback on the course 2 and were divided into smaller groups to discuss each unit.

Participants grouped into smaller group to discuss course 2

In the afternoon session, Whitney Pailman presented on the exciting expansion of the southern network of expertise, welcoming the 23 new partner universities joining the network and introducing the new Continuing Professional Development (CPD) courses, including Future Female Leaders in Energy launch in collaboration with the African Management Institute (AMI). She also shared details on the Faraday Institution  collaboration and Efficiency for Access Design Challenge.

Whitney Pailman presenting – welcoming new partner universities to the TEA-LP network

On day four, Prof Ruona Diemuodeke presented on Course #3 – ‘Appliances for Off grid Communities’. He outlined the main aims of the course which are to:

  • Provide a framework to transfer knowledge and skills to contribute to the growing off-grid appliances sector.
  • Provide  broad context to assess technology diffusion, technology readiness, market opportunities and local socio-economic conditions to support off-grid appliances uptake.
  • Provide insights into the technical, environmental, socio-economic, policy and business aspects of off-grid appliances
  • Introduce the concepts of efficiency, performance, durability and affordability in the assessment of off-grid appliances.

He then detailed what each of the six course Units would cover as well as the learning outcomes.

Course lead Prof Ogheneruona Diemuodeke presenting on course 3

Abigail Kuria from CLASP  then presented on Unit 3: ‘Efficiency for Access Market Research’. In this unit students will gain an understanding of how off grid appliance market supply chains operates as well as insights on the types of products available in the retail market, and product characteristics.

Abigail Kuria presenting on Unit 3 of Course 3

Partner universities provided feedback on Course 3 and were divided into smaller groups to discuss each Unit.

Participants grouped into smaller group to discuss Course 3

On the last day of the workshop  University Partners were given the opportunity to present  their universities programmes, challenges they face as well as how they would incorporate and adapt the TEA-LP courses.

New partner universities presenting at TEA-LP course uptake workshop