Read about the new postgraduate degrees and courses we’re developing.

Read about the new postgraduate degrees and courses we’re developing.

Each university is developing their own curriculum based on their strengths and informed by their market engagement with their regional energy access sector stakeholders. Across all programmes, however, the following core TEA-LP principles apply:

  • Responsive to sectoral needs – each university commences with a market needs assessment which they use these in the design of their outcomes driven curriculum;
  • Multidisciplinary – to produce well rounded graduates with diverse skillsets and competencies,
  • Gender mainstreaming – in both course content and classroom and teaching settings;
  • Soft skills – emphasizing the development of soft skills together with discipline/subject specific knowledge and competencies.
  • Sustainability – each partner will also develop a comprehensive business plan and marketing strategy to ensure operational success.
TEA-LP timeline

Each university is developing their own curriculum based on their strengths and informed by their market engagement with their regional energy access sector stakeholders. Across all programmes, however, the following core TEA-LP principles apply:

  • Responsive to sectoral needs – each university commences with a market needs assessment which they use these in the design of their outcomes driven curriculum;
  • Multidisciplinary – to produce well rounded graduates with diverse skillsets and competencies,
  • Gender mainstreaming – in both course content and classroom and teaching settings;
  • Soft skills – emphasizing the development of soft skills together with discipline/subject specific knowledge and competencies.
  • Sustainability – each partner will also develop a comprehensive business plan and marketing strategy to ensure operational success.
TEA-LP timeline

DESCRIPTION: PAUWES together with Global e-Schools and Community Initiative (GESCI) are developing an online Masters degree titled Minigrids, Digitalisation and Entrepeneurship. The programme consists of four modules including “Mini-micro grids, Information and Communication Technologies, Innovation and Entrepreneurship, and  the fourth module is a Business Startup Thesis. The Innovation and Entrepreneurship module 3 and the eThesis are specifically aimed at bringing the important dimension of the student moving from theory to practice – to innovating from their technical knowledge to designing and promoting real products and services in the smart grid sector. The mode of delivery for this programme is online learning enabling access by students across the continent.

DEPARTMENT:

Pan African University Institute of Water and Energy Sciences

PROPOSED DEGREE TITLE:

Minigrids – Digitalisation – Entrepreneurship

PROJECT LEAD:

Erick Tambo

DESCRIPTION: The proposed MSc in Energy Access and Renewable Energy Technology is a twelve degree that includes coursework, research and a dissertation/internship. It is intended that students will undertake an internship within local companies and organisations in the energy access sector. The programme intends to create graduates capable of formulating energy policies, as well as developing and implementing energy projects that promote available, clean and affordable energy technologies to meet the skill gap in the energy access sector of Nigeria. It intends to equip students with not only technical skills but also soft skills such as communication, problem solving, team work and research skills.

DEPARTMENT:

Department of Mechanical Engineering

PROPOSED DEGREE TITLE:

MSc in Energy Access and Renewable Energy Technology

PROJECT LEAD:

Ogheneruona Diemuodeke

DESCRIPTION: This MSc programme aims to transform technocrats and practitioners in the off-grid energy sector into well rounded professionals. Multidisciplinary in nature, drawing on courses from various disciplines it aims to lay strong introductory foundations to key themes across energy such as engineering, law, humanities economics and finance. Students may further specialise through elective courses and a research project. The programme aims  to develop a strong understanding of the interactions between students’ specialisations, the energy ecosystem, the economy and the society in general. It will also seek to develop individuals who can apply the knowledge they have obtained to address the energy access trilemma of accessibility, affordability and reliability of energy.

DEPARTMENT:

Faculty of Information Technology through Strathmore Energy Research Centre

PROPOSED DEGREE TITLES:

MSc in Energy Transitions

PROJECT LEAD:

Sarah Odera

DESCRIPTION: This Master of Science in Renewable Energy Access will be a two-year multidisciplinary programme consisting of coursework and thesis. It aims to develop graduates with diverse competencies in renewable energy specific to the energy access sector. The degree aims to equip students with a sound technical knowledge of technologies such as mini hydro, biomass, solar, and wind energy systems, storage and other devices. Secondly it aims to develop leadership, business and entrepreneurial competencies and lastly to develop strong analytical and research skills.

DEPARTMENT:

Faculty of Agriculture and Environment / Department of Biosystems Engineering

PROPOSED DEGREE:

Master of Science in Renewable Energy Access

PROJECT LEAD:

Collins Okello

DESCRIPTION: The off-grid energy technologies course will feed into an MSc in Energy Technologies. The course aims to augment the existing curriculum with critical elements of off-grid energy systems components and competencies missing in the existing curriculum. It aims to equip students with a thorough understanding of the basic energy resources and technologies for off-grid energy systems and hybrid power systems, as well as an understanding of the broader development and regulatory context as well as the market opportunities and challenges facing the growth of these technologies.

DEPARTMENT:

School of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering

PROPOSED COURSE TITLE:

Off-Grid Energy Systems course

PROJECT LEAD:

Mulualem Gebreslassie

DESCRIPTION: The existing MSc in Sustainable Energy at NUL is a multidisciplinary programme covering the engineering of renewable energy technologies with additional environmental, economics and social sciences content. The degree already addresses a wide range of clean energy technologies for sustainable energy access. The TEA-LP project will, however, be used to further develop more specific content and competencies related to the energy access sector and delivering off-grid energy solutions for low-income households and enterprises. Three courses will be redeveloped to refine and develop greater energy access content: Sustainable Energy Solutions for Communities,  Solar Photovoltaic Systems and Solar Thermal Systems.

DEPARTMENT:

Faculty of Science and Technology (FOST); Department of Physics and Electronics; Energy Research Centre (ERC)

PROPOSED COURSE TITLES:

Sustainable Energy Solutions for Communities, Solar Photovoltaic Systems and Solar Thermal Systems

PROJECT LEAD:

Moeketsi Mpholo

DESCRIPTION: The proposed MSc in Sustainable Energy focusses on the minigrid and off-grid sectors. It is a two year programme consisting of modules in engineering (electrical and mechanical), renewable energy, entrepreneurship and business development, and project management. Therefore, the proposed degree will be serviced by three departments, namely; Mechanical Engineering, Electrical Engineering and Business Administration. The degree will develop design and engingeering competencies of typical mini, off grid and hybrid energy systems, entrepreneurship and business development knowledge to open up and manage business ventures in or-grid system as well as equipping students with project management skills in the context of infrastructure development and management such as work content and scope, time scheduling and phasing, resource management, budgeting and cost control, change management, information management, procurement, and legal requirements.

DEPARTMENT:

Departments of Mechanical Engineering, Electrical Engineering and Business Administration.

PROPOSED DEGREE TITLES:

MSc in Sustainable Energy Access

PROJECT LEAD:

Suzgo Kaunda

DESCRIPTION: Moi University, together with Kibabii University are developing a multidisciplinary 2 year degree focused on the energy access sector. The programme aims to address both technical and non-technical skills gaps in the decentralized renewable energy sub-sector. The degree aims to give students a sound understanding of clean and sustainable energy technologies and systems, policies and regulations relevant to the sector, planning, management, economic analysis and life-cycle assessment of decentralized energy system projects; energy modelling and data analysis, business and entrepreneurial as well as softer skills. The programme aims to develop linkages with industry, giving students exposure to, and opportunities to participate in real-life projects and gain hands-on experience.

DEPARTMENT:

Department of Energy Engineering, Department of Entrepreneurship and Project Management, Department of Community Development, Department of Biological Sciences

PROPOSED DEGREE TITLES:

MSc in Sustainable Energy & Energy Access

PROJECT LEAD:

Augustine Makokha

DESCRIPTION: PAUWES together with Global e-Schools and Community Initiative (GESCI) are developing an online Masters degree titled Minigrids, Digitalisation and Entrepeneurship. The programme consists of four modules including “Mini-micro grids, Information and Communication Technologies, Innovation and Entrepreneurship, and  the fourth module is a Business Startup Thesis. The Innovation and Entrepreneurship module 3 and the eThesis are specifically aimed at bringing the important dimension of the student moving from theory to practice – to innovating from their technical knowledge to designing and promoting real products and services in the smart grid sector. The mode of delivery for this programme is online learning enabling access by students across the continent.

DEPARTMENT:

Pan African University Institute of Water and Energy Sciences

PROPOSED DEGREE TITLE:

Minigrids – Digitalisation – Entrepreneurship

PROJECT LEAD:

Erick Tambo

DESCRIPTION: The proposed MSc in Energy Access and Renewable Energy Technology is a twelve degree that includes coursework, research and a dissertation/internship. It is intended that students will undertake an internship within local companies and organisations in the energy access sector. The programme intends to create graduates capable of formulating energy policies, as well as developing and implementing energy projects that promote available, clean and affordable energy technologies to meet the skill gap in the energy access sector of Nigeria. It intends to equip students with not only technical skills but also soft skills such as communication, problem solving, team work and research skills.

DEPARTMENT:

Department of Mechanical Engineering

PROPOSED DEGREE TITLE:

MSc in Energy Access and Renewable Energy Technology

PROJECT LEAD:

Ogheneruona Diemuodeke

DESCRIPTION: This MSc programme aims to transform technocrats and practitioners in the off-grid energy sector into well rounded professionals. Multidisciplinary in nature, drawing on courses from various disciplines it aims to lay strong introductory foundations to key themes across energy such as engineering, law, humanities economics and finance. Students may further specialise through elective courses and a research project. The programme aims  to develop a strong understanding of the interactions between students’ specialisations, the energy ecosystem, the economy and the society in general. It will also seek to develop individuals who can apply the knowledge they have obtained to address the energy access trilemma of accessibility, affordability and reliability of energy.

DEPARTMENT:

Faculty of Information Technology through Strathmore Energy Research Centre

PROPOSED DEGREE TITLES:

MSc in Energy Transitions

PROJECT LEAD:

Sarah Odera

DESCRIPTION: This Master of Science in Renewable Energy Access will be a two-year multidisciplinary programme consisting of coursework and thesis. It aims to develop graduates with diverse competencies in renewable energy specific to the energy access sector. The degree aims to equip students with a sound technical knowledge of technologies such as mini hydro, biomass, solar, and wind energy systems, storage and other devices. Secondly it aims to develop leadership, business and entrepreneurial competencies and lastly to develop strong analytical and research skills.

DEPARTMENT:

Faculty of Agriculture and Environment / Department of Biosystems Engineering

PROPOSED DEGREE:

Master of Science in Renewable Energy Access

PROJECT LEAD:

Collins Okello

DESCRIPTION: The off-grid energy technologies course will feed into an MSc in Energy Technologies. The course aims to augment the existing curriculum with critical elements of off-grid energy systems components and competencies missing in the existing curriculum. It aims to equip students with a thorough understanding of the basic energy resources and technologies for off-grid energy systems and hybrid power systems, as well as an understanding of the broader development and regulatory context as well as the market opportunities and challenges facing the growth of these technologies.

DEPARTMENT:

School of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering

PROPOSED COURSE TITLE:

Off-Grid Energy Systems course

PROJECT LEAD:

Mulualem Gebreslassie

DESCRIPTION: The existing MSc in Sustainable Energy at NUL is a multidisciplinary programme covering the engineering of renewable energy technologies with additional environmental, economics and social sciences content. The degree already addresses a wide range of clean energy technologies for sustainable energy access. The TEA-LP project will, however, be used to further develop more specific content and competencies related to the energy access sector and delivering off-grid energy solutions for low-income households and enterprises. Three courses will be redeveloped to refine and develop greater energy access content: Sustainable Energy Solutions for Communities,  Solar Photovoltaic Systems and Solar Thermal Systems.

DEPARTMENT:

Faculty of Science and Technology (FOST); Department of Physics and Electronics; Energy Research Centre (ERC)

PROPOSED COURSE TITLES:

Sustainable Energy Solutions for Communities, Solar Photovoltaic Systems and Solar Thermal Systems

PROJECT LEAD:

Moeketsi Mpholo

DESCRIPTION: The proposed MSc in Sustainable Energy focusses on the minigrid and off-grid sectors. It is a two year programme consisting of modules in engineering (electrical and mechanical), renewable energy, entrepreneurship and business development, and project management. Therefore, the proposed degree will be serviced by three departments, namely; Mechanical Engineering, Electrical Engineering and Business Administration. The degree will develop design and engingeering competencies of typical mini, off grid and hybrid energy systems, entrepreneurship and business development knowledge to open up and manage business ventures in or-grid system as well as equipping students with project management skills in the context of infrastructure development and management such as work content and scope, time scheduling and phasing, resource management, budgeting and cost control, change management, information management, procurement, and legal requirements.

DEPARTMENT:

Departments of Mechanical Engineering, Electrical Engineering and Business Administration.

PROPOSED DEGREE TITLES:

MSc in Sustainable Energy Access

PROJECT LEAD:

Suzgo Kaunda

DESCRIPTION: Moi University, together with Kibabii University are developing a multidisciplinary 2 year degree focused on the energy access sector. The programme aims to address both technical and non-technical skills gaps in the decentralized renewable energy sub-sector. The degree aims to give students a sound understanding of clean and sustainable energy technologies and systems, policies and regulations relevant to the sector, planning, management, economic analysis and life-cycle assessment of decentralized energy system projects; energy modelling and data analysis, business and entrepreneurial as well as softer skills. The programme aims to develop linkages with industry, giving students exposure to, and opportunities to participate in real-life projects and gain hands-on experience.

DEPARTMENT:

Department of Energy Engineering, Department of Entrepreneurship and Project Management, Department of Community Development, Department of Biological Sciences

PROPOSED DEGREE TITLES:

MSc in Sustainable Energy & Energy Access

PROJECT LEAD:

Augustine Makokha

TEA-LP EVENTS

Clean Cooking Forum 2019

Five members from the TEA-LP attended the 2019 Clean Cooking Forum in Nairobi  to develop a greater understanding of the clean cooking sector.  This is an annual event that brings together stakeholders from around the world, all of whom play a role in achieving the SDG 7 goal of delivering clean cooking solutions. The Forum this year was attended by over 500 delegates, more than double the number that attended in Kigali last year – signalling the growing activity and interest in the sector.

The TEA-LP members at the Clean Cooking Forum 2019; (L-R) Guy Cunliffe (UCT), Esther Phiri (University of Malawi), Akatew Haile (Mekelle), Kennedy Munyole (Moi), and Emmanuel Menya (Gulu)

Day 1 began with opening speeches from the Clean Cooking Alliance CEO and senior officials from the Kenya Ministry of Energy, who officially launched the – a comprehensive analysis of cooking methods used by households in Kenya. Thereafter, Days 1 and 2 comprised a series of plenaries and smaller panel discussion sessions, alongside an ‘Innovation Expo’, while Day 3 was spent at visiting various sites in and around Nairobi, showcasing clean cooking interventions in action.

Clean Cooking Forum

Unveiling of the Kenya Household Cooking Study, completed by the Kenya Ministry of Energy

A plethora of private-sector social enterprises were in attendance, representing all parts of the clean cooking value chain from manufacturing and production to sales and distribution, as well as enterprising financiers developing innovative ways to allow more consumers to afford these solutions. In particular, there was a large presence of companies from East and West Africa as well as South Asia, reflecting the geographic regions with the greatest market momentum.

Clean Cooking Forum

Biodigester on display at the Innovation Expo, designed to be able to use human waste as a feedstock

Over the course of the three days, stakeholders discussed a number of challenges encountered in the clean cooking sector, reflecting on the relative slow progress made until now. This is reflected, for example, in the Clean Cooking Alliance’s recent analysis showing that around USD 40 million was invested in clean cooking in 2017, a mere fraction of the USD 4 billion required annually to achieve universal access by 2030.

Clean Cooking Forum

Danny Wilson of Geocene, emphasising the lack of progress during a presentation

Consumer affordability remains at the heart of these challenges. Many intended beneficiaries of clean cooking technology cannot afford solutions currently available, and perceive that the capital or fuel costs are too high, and unjustified by comparison to cheap and readily available charcoal and firewood.

Finance is not the only factor to contend with however. Many delegates reflected on the need for greater understanding and integration of the socio-cultural norms of end-user communities in the design, marketing and distribution of clean cooking solutions. Consideration has to be given to who will actually be using the cookstove – the commonly held perception that “women do all the cooking” was often repeated and seldom challenged (with little in the way of substantiating data, either way) – and what types of dishes they will prepare. Inattention to these non-trivial factors may mean that, even if the clean cookstove is initially accepted and used, households will generally shift back, over time, to their more traditional cooking means.

Clean Cooking Forum

Akatew Haile (Mekelle University) at the Clean Cooking Forum

Perhaps the most positive theme of the Clean Cooking Forum was the celebration of the achievements of female entrepreneurs in the industry, along with a series of frank and open discussions about the challenges they face, the strides they have taken to overcome these challenges, and their recommendations to policy-makers, donors, financiers and all other stakeholders on what needs to be done to create more opportunities for women to achieve gender equality in the sector.

Strong arguments were made for the need for more women in the field, particularly as sales agents engaging directly with women in households and end-user communities. The consensus was that, whilst women might not have financial control of their households (sometimes even in cases where they are the primary breadwinner), they should have greater agency in decision-making regarding (clean) cooking technology adoption, particularly as they bear the greater burden when access is lacking.

Forum participants who attended the session on ‘Individualizing Women’s Entrepreneurship’ would have heard inspirational testimonies from Chebet Lesan, of BrightGreen Renewable Energy (Kenya), Betty Ikalany, of Appropriate Energy Saving Technologies (Uganda), and Neha Juneja, of Greenway Appliances (India), describing their successes and challenges in founding and establishing commercial manufacturing and distribution operations. They described the ongoing obstacles they face, ranging from ‘general’ business problems such as securing long-term investment in social enterprises, where results are generally measured in livelihoods impacted more than bottom-line returns, to the more acute gender misperceptions they have had to deal with, such as the beliefs still held by some that “women have no place running factories”. Neha Juneja was later awarded the ‘2019 Woman Entrepreneur of the Year’, in recognition of her work establishing her business in India.

Clean Cooking Forum

Figure 3 Neha Juneja (second-right), 2019 Woman Entrepreneur of the Year at the Clean Cooking Forum, with previous winners Betty Ikalany (left) and Chebet Lesan (second left), and Jescinta Izevbigie of the Clean Cooking Alliance.

The final day of the Forum was spent at site visits. The TEA-LP team split up, with Kennedy and Esther going on a tour of a number of household and community sites in and around Nairobi, using biogas supplied from different biodigester technologies and suppliers (including Home Biogas and Sistema Bio). The uptake of biodigesters has been driven by the Kenya Biogas Program, which is the Kenyan implementing entity for the broader Africa Biogas Partnership Program.

Meanwhile Akatew, Emmanuel and Guy were at Kenya Power’s ‘Electricity House’, attending a demonstration by Pika na Power , Jikoni Magic and the Modern Energy Cooking Services (MECS) team on the use of an electric pressure cooker to cook popular Kenyan dishes. The demonstration, in Kenya Power’s model kitchen, illustrated the difference in electricity usage between the electric pressure cooker and a standard electric stove top, showing that the food was prepared in much shorter time and with much fewer kWh in the EPC than the ‘conventional’ hot plate. A taste test by the audience confirmed that the shorter time spent in the pressure cook did not in any way detract from the deliciousness of the meal prepared.

Clean Cooking Forum

MECS electric pressure cooker cooking demonstration, hosted by Kenya Power

In conclusion, whilst there remain a number of challenges in the clean cooking sector, there is clear potential for clean cooking to grow, especially in Sub-Saharan Africa where it is most needed. Currently, it is not growing at nearly the rate necessary to achieve the goal of universal access by 2030. However, were it to begin to attract investment on the scale envisaged by the Clean Cooking Alliance, it could create many employment opportunities, especially for local entrepreneurs who have the necessary skills to engage in the many important parts of the value chain, including product design, operation and maintenance, distribution and sales, finance and risk analysis, business development, and policy-making and advocacy (and more besides).

All of these roles would require a range of technical and subject-specific skills, as well as considerable ‘soft’ skills – particularly creative thinking and problem-solving, especially in the face of the numerous sometimes-unpredictable challenges that the clean cooking sector presents. Indeed, nearly every element of the clean cooking value chain will require a multi-disciplinary approach to problem solving, in order to develop the integrated, sustainable solutions the market is crying out for.

Entrepreneurs will also require a great deal of patience, perseverance and proactivity, and a willingness to take risks and try new ventures, if they are to truly make a difference. These are attributes that may require innovation and out-the-box thinking to be effectively taught and developed in an otherwise-conventional Masters curriculum. Certainly though, if the clean cooking industry can take-off at the rate it needs to, it will be accompanied by a growing demand for people with mid-management skills and all-round abilities, that could be well within the grasp of Masters-level graduates.

Clean Cooking Forum

The TEA-LP team at the closing reception.

Nairobi Workshop August 2019

The TEA-LP held its first workshop in August 2019 in Nairobi. The event brought  together the 8 partner universities for a 3 day workshop. This workshop aimed to develop a shared understanding of the TEA-LP principles and goals, share knowledge and expertise, as well as to network and develop relationships.

The event proved a valuable opportunity for each partner to share the various ways in which they are approaching their curriculum design process. NUL presented their experiences using the Tuning Africa methodology, and highlighted the on-going and iterative nature of curriculum design and review. Moi Univeristy offered an overview of their approach to embracing multidisciplinarity in their degree programme. PAUWES ran a session on the ways in which entrepreneurship skills and competencies can be integrated into a curriculum.

The workshop also aimed to develop a better understanding of the energy access sector to inform the process of developing responsive, needs-based postgraduate curricula. Thus in addition to the universities, also present were several organisations working in the sector who offered their insights and reflections on skills needs. Energy 4 Impact presented the findings from their recent research into the training needs in the mini-grid sector, Shortlist discussed the various competencies and job roles that energy access companies are looking to recruit, and The African Management Initiative discussed the relevance of soft skills in the workplace. In addition to these, Dr Jon Leary presented some of the technology innovations he is working on as part of the Modern Energy Cooking Services programme.

These insights were a useful basis to start to explore the process of translating sectoral needs into academic learning outcomes, and for the universities to start planning their own sector needs assessment processes. Under the guidance of education specialist Dr Mary Omingo, university teams began the exercise of translating examples of sectoral needs into explicit learning outcomes, incorporating both hard and soft skills, and planning the types of teaching and learning activities that would support these outcomes.

The workshop was highly valued with much positive feedback from participants. We’d like to thank Strathmore University for the venue and supporting with event logistics. We look forward to the next workshop, due to be held in March 2020.