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LAHORE - Gross Gerau (Germany) In December 2015 on a study tour by the Pakistan-German Renewable Energy Forum (PGREF), a delegation including members of the Energy Department of the Government of the Punjab visited the Vocational Training Centre in Gross Gerau. In the aftermath, a four-way cooperation agreement has now been reached to send up to 12 trainers from Punjab’s Technical Education and Vocational Training Authority (TEVTA) to the Hessische Landesstelle für Technologiefortbildung for a three-week training on solar PV systems. The master trainers, who hail from vocational training centres across Punjab, will receive the additional qualification to provide capacity to TEVTAs of the province to conduct quality trainings for the blooming solar market in Punjab.

The three week activity, which is scheduled for 21st of November till 09th of December, is a cooperation between TEVTA Punjab, Energy Department Punjab, Gesellschaft fur Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) and the German training centre with the support of the government of the Federal State of Hessia in Germany under PGREF, with further funding shared between GIZ and the Energy Department. It falls under PGREF’s mission to provide high-quality capacity building to support renewable energy technologies in Pakistan.

In this regard, a Memorandum of Understanding was signed between TEVTA and PEECA, represented by Secretariat TEVTA Chief Operating Officer Jawad Ahmad Qureshi and PEECA Managing Director Muhammad Qasim Khokhar at the TEVTA office. TEVTA Chairperson Irfan Qaiser Sheikh and Secretary Energy Asad-ur-Rehman Gilani and others were also present on this occasion.

The selected group from Mianwali, Chakwal, Gujrat, Gujranwala and Lahore will further train enrolled trainees after the completion of their master course. After successful implementation of the cycle, other groups of TEVTA teachers and interested solar companies will also be sent to Europe to get comparable training under an initiative advertised as the Chief Minister’s Training Programme. The initiative follows up on the TEVTAs having already started free six-month Solar Photovoltic System Power generation courses.

The training, which is free for participants whose flights and accommodation are also covered, will start with an introduction to renewable energy technologies and will further be based on the methodology of German vocational trainings which is also promoted by the GIZ Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) Reform Programme. It will further cover PV systems with a specific focus on stand-alone systems and the quality aspect. This strategy follows a market study conducted between the German Solar Association BSW (Bundesverband Solarwirtschaft) and the Pakistan Solar Association (PSA) funded under the PGREF to determine the need for awareness on quality products on the solar market, as well as a needs assessment conducted by PGREF with Pakistan’s solar associations and companies and university institutes like CERAD and COMSATS. A field trip in Germany will solidify the knowledge gained at the training and make the abstract technical matter more tangible for participants.

Beyond fitting into the strategy to promote renewables and specifically solar PV by Energy Department, the training course is set to boost the image of TEVTA in the whole province of Punjab for providing education in the latest technological skill at grass root level for the province. Hence, TEVTA has taken up the project in close coordination with Energy Department and PGERF in accordance with the overall policy of the Punjab government to meet the ever increasing energy needs, as Secretariat TEVTA Chief Operating Officer Jawad Ahmad Qureshi concluded.

Pakistan’s solar market has been on the verge of major growth spurt for some time with efforts on Feed In Tariffs in the past, as well as import incentives now complemented by the feasibility of net-metering under IESCO, which makes solar installations attractive in grid-connected as well as off-grid areas where it can be a cheap and easy way to overcome the negative impacts of load-shedding or a complete absence of a grid. With its favourable natural conditions, the solar market can thus ply a major role in curing Pakistan’s energy shortage issues – with the solar market to profit and further capacities predicted to be needed in the near future. 


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