September 18th-22nd, 2017, RAACH SOLAR successfully trained about 15 experts in solar pumping systems in French language in Casablanca, Morocco. These trainers will train installers and users of solar pumping systems.
The train the trainers (TtT) capacity building workshop in the style of a vocational school, organized by GIZ and RENAC, covered subjects such as basics of photovoltaic technology, basics of solar pumping systems, hydraulics engineering, software sizing of solar pumping systems, financing. The Moroccan Government plans a huge subsidy program to promote the use of solar pumping systems and replace diesel powered pumps for agriculture. RAACH SOLAR looks back on a 20 years experience on design and installation of solar pumping systems worldwide and is one of the leading experts in this field.
Die Hochschule Neu-Ulm (HNU) startet gemeinsam mit der Kenyatta University nahe Nairobi ein Entrepreneur-Projekt, das Studierenden helfen soll, erfolgreiche Start-ups zu gründen. Professoren der Hochschulen und Unternehmen beider Länder fördern mit Schulungen die praxisorientierte Hochschulbildung in Kenia.
RAACH SOLAR successfully commissions two GRUNDFOS AQtap prepayment meters in Sierra Leone and combines three major GRUNDFOS technologies: GRUNDFOS SQF solar pump for water delivery, GRUNDFOS DEA booster station for water distribution and GRUNDFOS AQtap water prepayment meters for water management.
The local NGO “WAMA GRISO” backed by funding of the German Ministry of Economic Cooperation (BMZ) implemented the water supply project and invested in a 100kW photovoltaic AC mini grid and water distribution system for their school and the nearby Mambo village , about 10km from the capital Freetown in Sierra Leone. “The school with about 400 students profits directly from clean borehole water and sees for the first time electricity and lighting” says happily Mrs. Maria Walz, head of the NGO. “We did not want to compromise on quality of components and chose only the best suppliers and installer” added Mrs Walz.
The GRUNDFOS SQF pump was installed with an independent solar power supply and delivers 5m³ / hour, whereas the GRUNDFOS booster station and prepayment meters are supplied by three phase respectively single phase 230VAC voltage which comes from the solar village power supply system. During nighttime a 150kWh industrial solar battery guarantees a 24hours / day electricity supply. One AQtap prepayment meter was installed in the school and one AQtap meter in the village. About 300 prepayment cards were given to families and individuals who can buy clean drinking water at the prepayment water taps, especially during the dry season in Sierra Leone. About 2000 people profit directly from water and electricity supplies. The GRUNDFOS booster station will supply in the next phase of the project more GRUNDFOS AQtaps and individual homes which are situated up to 50m uphill in the mountainous village.
“We are happy to find in GRUNDFOS the right technology partner to boost rural development and renewable energy technologies” says Jürgen Raach, general manager of RAACH SOLAR. “We also would like to express our thanks to the companies Heckert Solar modules, SMA inverters and BAE batteries for their continuous support of our business” continues Raach.
RAACH SOLAR signed with SMA SOLAR TECHNOLOGY AG a partnership agreement which qualifies RAACH SOLAR as dealer and installation company for grid connected PV systems and as PV systems with battery storage technologies. The partnership program of SMA offers several advantages such as regular trainings on new product releases, support in after sales service and lists RAACH SOLAR as official partner on the website of SMA. RAACH SOLAR went through a qualification process by an intensive training on SMA inverters and their data communication for remote monitoring.
“We install turn-key photovoltaic systems in Germany and we can offer this experience for our international customers. Germany is not the largest PV market anymore in the world, but certainly the one with the highest quality standards” added Jürgen Raach.
This year’s Energy-Workshop’s was held under the title “Despite the global crisis, Africa’s energy potential is growing” hosted by Mr. Bob Hooda from WIPRO GmbH. The traditional annual meeting brings together stakeholders from Africa and Europe to network and to identify business opportunities. Mr. Jürgen Raach presented the project “100kW AC Mini Grid in Sierra Leone” which the company implemented in 2016. The AC mini grid supplies a school compound and a nearby village with clean photovoltaic power. For the water supply a GRUNDFOS SQF submersible pump was installed coupled with a GRUNDFOS DEA booster station to increase the water pressure for the water distribution system. A GRUNDFOS AQtap water prepayment meter manages the water distribution to single families and school members. “RAACH SOLAR implemented a very complex project, an independent three phase AC grid with a large battery storage and an independent water supply from a borehole, to pump, boost, distribute and manage the water supply. This is a business model for independent power producers and water supply companies” presented Raach.
Last year, 150 heads of state agreed on 17 sustainable development goals (SDG) for the agenda 2030 following the Millennium Development Goals (MDG). The Stuttgart Forum on Development is a state initiative of Baden-Württemberg (South Germany) and invited under the umbrella of state governor Mr. Kretschmann major actors in the field of development and economic cooperation, organized by the Chamber of Industry in Stuttgart (IHK) and Stiftung Entwicklungszusammenarbeit Baden Württemberg (SEZ). The opening speech was hold by Mr. Graeme Maxton, secretary general of The Club Of Rome”.
New initiatives for markets in Africa for German based small and medium sized enterprises were discussed on platform 10 of this forum and key speakers were invited like Mrs. Catherine Adelmann (FOSERA GmbH & Co. KG), Mr. Johannes Brenner (ELMER & ZWEIFEL), Mr. Bernd Gienger (FESTO DIDACTIC SE), Prof. Rainer Mertes (KNAUS MERTES ARCHITEKTEN GmbH), Mr. Benjamin Wolf (STAY FOUNDATION) and Mr. Jürgen RAACH (RAACH SOLAR GmbH).
The companies presented their activities in Africa and discussed with the audience how investments into production and increase of the value added chain can help to achieve the sustainable development goals. Public and private funding of companies and projects in Africa were highlighted as the greatest barrier to development. Public funding of projects is attributed to large scale projects over 15 million€ for large international companies not feasible for small and medium sized enterprises. The existing financing instruments like “develoPPP” or the “UPSCALING” prove to be insufficient. “The African and German SMEs, also part of the “Mittelstand”, do not have access to private financing of small and medium scale solar projects between 100.000€ and 1 million€” criticized Mr. Jürgen Raach. “If there is no private financing for companies and economic projects, there will be no market development”.
The worldwide photovoltaic market is rapidly growing, more than 60GWp are expected in the year 2016. The growth is however outside Europe. Especially development and newly industrializing countries offer promising opportunities for German companies. Photovoltaic systems are technically mature and economically competitive with electricity productions costs as low as 5 to 7 cents€ / kWh. The German Solar Industry Association (BSW) together with the Agentur für Wirtschaft & Entwicklung invited key players from the banking sector and industry to meet and discuss to develop financing instruments for small and medium scale solar projects.
Representatives from the banking sector DEUTSCHE BANK, ALLIANZ, KfW DEG, KfW, IFC, EULER HERMES met with the BSW, IBC SOLAR and RAACH SOLAR to discuss new ways on how to fill the gap below large scale commercial financing of renewable energy projects in developing and newly industrialized countries. “If we see that the large majority of photovoltaic systems in Europe are financed by banks, why there are no banks in Europe and Africa who finance these small and medium sized projects in Africa” said Mr. Jürgen Raach. “We want to harvest the monthly payments for fossil fuels and convert them into monthly down payments for loans for photovoltaic systems” he added.
An important delegation from the Rural Electrification Authority Kenya visited Germany and RAACH SOLAR was invited by the German Solar Industry Association (BSW) and the German–African Business Association (Afrika-Verein der deutschen Wirtschaft) to be part of the meeting.
In 2016, 40% of the Kenyan population had access to electricity, whereas only 5% do have access in rural areas. The target of the Kenyan Government is the full electrification of the rural areas by the year 2020. Solar powered village power supply systems, so called “AC mini-grids” can play an important role in this electrification process. REA was founded in the year 2007 and focuses especially on the development of solar power. In the years 2016 and 2017 about 23 greenfield mini grids will be tendered and financed by the Worldbank, others will follow and be financed by the KfW in cooperation with the GIZ (Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit GmbH).
RAACH SOLAR’s presence in the meeting and in Kenya is part of its long term strategy for East Africa as consulting company and turn key solar system provider.