SOLTRAIN 4, Newsletter #16

Join us at the SOLTRAIN Conference 2022

The Centre for Renewable and Sustainable Energy Studies (CRSES), Stellenbosch University in partnership with AEE-Institute for Sustainable Technologies (AEE INTEC), is pleased to invite you on behalf of the Austrian Development Agency to the SOLTRAIN Conference 2022 taking place on 7 and 8 December 2022 at the Lord Charles hotel in Somerset West, South Africa.

At this conference the activities and results of the SOLTRAIN project, which was carried out for 12 years in Botswana, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa and Zimbabwe are going to be presented.

Click here to download the conference programme.

You can register online for the conference.

IEA SHC award for Aussenkehr SOLTRAIN project in Namibia 

Werner Weiss

The Orange River Vineyard Investment (ORVI) social housing project in Aussenkehr, Namibia was awarded the IEA Solar Heating and Cooling Prize 2022 on September 28. Namibian SOLTRAIN project partners Helvi Ileka from the Namibia Energy Institute and Leonhard Eins of the company Solsquare accepted the award during the EuroSun 2022 event in Kassel, Germany.

IEA SHC Award Ceremony: From left to right: IEA SHC Solar Awardee - Helvi Ileka, Namibia Energy Institute (on screen), Ken Guthrie, Solar Award Committee Chair, Australia, Tomas Olejniczak, IEA SHC Chair, Netherlands, Bulent Yesilata, Turkish IEA SHC member, Leonhard Eins (awardee), Solsquare, Namibia, Werner Weiss, Austrian IEA SHC member and SOLTRAIN project leader

The SHC Solar Award recognizes an individual, company or private/public entity every other year for an outstanding achievement in solar heating and cooling. With this year's award, IEA SHC recognizes a social housing project in which 58 homes were equipped with solar thermal systems that avoid 120,000 kWh of electricity per year that would otherwise be generated in old coal-fired power plants and 36 tons of CO2 per year.

The hot water is used not only for showering, but also for laundry and cooking. This project has not only significantly improved the living standards and hygiene conditions of the farm workers and their families, but has also shown how simple and affordable houses can be built locally and equipped with sustainable solar technologies.

The 58 new houses in Aussenkehr - all equipped with drinking water, electricity connection and a thermal solar system

At this point it should also be mentioned that ORVI has also built a large photovoltaic system with 225 kWp on the farm. This plant supplies all houses with solar power.

The project also demonstrates that a long-standing, comprehensive training program such as SOLTRAIN, which has brought together the local and international solar industry, research institutions from Europe and southern Africa, and policy makers, is creating a framework for the widespread application of thermal solar systems. The Aussenkehr housing project is just one of 600 other solar thermal systems implemented in Southern Africa as part of the SOLTRAIN project.

Vide: Orange River Vineyard Investment (ORVI) Social Housing Project in Aussenkehr

[Mozambique & Botswana] SOLTRAIN engages with high level governement officials

Gabriel Auziane, Geraldo Nhumaio, Kevin Nwaigwe & Karen Gibson

The SOLTRAIN project was honoured to engage with regional presidents and government ministers this year.

In April, Mozambican and Malawian Presidents Filipe Jacinto Nyusi and Lazarus Chakwera paid a visit to the National Company of Science and Technology Parks (ENPCT) stand at the Mozambique International Fair (FACIM). FACIM is an annual event where trade opportunities are presented. Mr. Reis representing the SOLTRAIN project in Mozambique oversaw the stand and explained the technologies on display in the SOLTRAIN demonstration trailers to the visiting statesmen.

Mr Reis using the trailer to explain the role of solar thermal systems the visiting statesmen

In Botswana, the Solar Industries Association of Botswana (SIAB), a SOLTRAIN country partner, was identified as a key stakeholder and invited to exhibit for the duration of the National Adaptation Plan Global Expo 2022. At the expo, the SOLTRAIN trailer was visited by the general public, international visitors, government officials, private sector representatives and the press.

At the event held in August, His Excellency, Dr Mokgweetsi Masisi, the president of the Republic of Botswana accompanied by the Minister of Environment Resource Conservation and Tourism, Honourable Ms Philda Kereng, visited the trailer and spoke to SOLTRAIN country partner representatives Professor Kevin Nwaigwe from the Univeristy of Botswana and Ms Karen Gibson from SIAB.

His Excellency showed a deep interest in the project and invited the team to engage in further discussions at a later date, particularly on opportunities in local manufacturing of solar thermal technologies.

It is encouraging to have the support of the government in forthcoming projects and SIAB would like to congratulate Botswana on hosting the high profile global event and thank the Ministry for the excellent organisation.

Prof. Nwaigwe and Ms Gibson using the trailer to explain the role of solar thermal systems to the visiting government delegation


The Southern African Solar Thermal Training & Demonstration Initiative is a regional initiative for capacity building & demonstration of solar thermal systems in the SADC region. It is funded by the AUSTRIAN DEVELOPMENT AGENCY. Please visit SOLTRAIN on the web at for more about the programme.


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