The SOLTRAIN+ project aims to promote energy efficiency through the utilization of solar thermal potential in various sectors such as domestic, health, hospitality, and industrial in Zimbabwe and the surrounding region. Eng Samson Mhlanga, a representative of SOLTRAIN+, presented the project at the 4th International Renewable Energy Conference and Expo, held from March 21 to 24, 2023, at Elephant Hills Hotel in Victoria Falls.
The presentation highlighted the project's focus on policy and regulations, training, research and development, awareness and demonstration systems, targeting medium-sized systems with heat pump potential for apartment buildings, hospitals, hostels, and process industries. The talk also provided insights into past SOLTRAIN+ initiatives and the learning points across the partners in the region, emphasizing the target of residential apartments, hospitals, and process industries in Zimbabwe.
The conference drew participants from various sectors, including government ministries, financial institutions, property developers, power utility companies, engineering firms, and media houses. The physical attendance numbered over 150 delegates from 20 countries, while the online audience reached more than 5000. The conference was attended by high-ranking officials such as H.E. Dr Emmerson Mnangagwa, President of the Republic of Zimbabwe, and Hon. Dr Constantino Chiwenga, Vice-President & Minister of Health and Childcare.
The SOLTRAIN+ project continues to receive funding from the Austrian Development Agency (ADA) and is expected to provide ongoing support in energy efficiency through solar thermal heating and cooling training, dual training, research and development, and demonstration systems. The project aims to develop Solar Thermal Technology professions such as experts in Renewable Heating & Cooling /Energy Efficiency and Industry practitioners (plant engineers/operators, plant, and facilities managers) in the country and the region.