Electrification and provision of reliable and clean energy is one of the central development factors in West Africa. The Togolese government aims to electrify all households by 2030 using grid extensions, solar home systems and solar mini-grids. A few mini-grids have already been installed for rural communities and another 317 will follow. This enormous task can only be achieved if local engineers and installers are trained to install, operate and maintain solar mini-grids. The German solar company maxx-solar & energie GmbH, GREEN Solar Academy and KYA-Energy Group are partnering up to use their joint expertise to bring forward the use of mini-grids in the country.
Within the dena RES Project Togo, a 30 kWp pilot off-grid solar system made in Germany has been installed at the KYA-Energy headquarter in Lomé. The system not only fuels the premises of KYA but also will be used to train solar installers within the GREEN Solar Academy. Representatives of the Federal Republic of Germany and the Togolese Ministry of Energy will inaugurate the solar system and officially launch the GREEN Solar Academy on 15th November 2019.
Electrification and the provision of reliable and clean energy are key development factors in West Africa. Electricity access is the basis for better education, entrepreneurship and prosperous businesses. In this development process, solar energy plays a major role thanks to the versatile application possibilities, the affordability and the independence solar energy systems offer. It can be used to electrify large parts of the region. Mini-grids have become a standard solution for rural electrification. Nevertheless, the application of the solar technology is still new and challenges can still occur during project implementation as well as system operation and maintenance.
Since 2015 Pr. Dr. Yao Azoumah and his team have been working in the solar business in Togo. His company KYA- Energy Group offers solar solutions, operates a solar research department and also offers trainings in Togo. The main business fields are assembling and trading solar home and business systems, especially stand-alone energy systems for household applications (private customers) and productive applications (SMEs and agricultural applications).
During a seminar trip to Germany 2017 Pr. Dr. Yao Azoumah visited maxx I solar & energie GmbH & Co. KG. and found the right partner to extend his business in two ways, wholesale of solar equipment Made in Germany and a training academy for the West African market. “One year ago Pr. Azoumah and I met for the first time and we developed the idea to install a pilot PV system made in Germany together in Lomé. Thanks to the support of the German Energy Agency dena we are able to inaugurate a 30 kWp additional solar system this week.” said Dieter Ortmann, CEO of the maxx I solar & energie GmbH & Co. KG. Dieter Ortmann started to work in Africa in 2011. He built up the maxx I solar energy PTY Ltd. as a training and wholesale company for Southern Africa. “With Pr. Azoumah we found the right partner to transfer our business to West Africa and through this off-grid pilot system we want to demonstrate the quality, the functionality and the sustainability of German solar technology.“ said Dieter Ortmann.
The 30 kWp off-grid solar system is the second solar system for the KYA-Energy Group headquarter in Lomé. “Our business is growing, and we recently build new workshops. The opportunity to upgrade our current 10 kWp solar system with a 30 kWp solar system in collaboration with a German partner gives us the chance to generate the electricity we need ourselves and to demonstrate different technologies on our premises.” says Pr. Dr. Azoumah. The 30 kWp solar off-grid system combines German solar technology with an innovative monitoring concept developed by the KYA-Energy Group. 105 Solar Modules from the German company IBC, each with a capacity of 285 Wp, will produce about 90 kWh per day. The electricity will be mainly consumed during daytime and a share of it will be stored in 48 BAE Batteries with a total capacity of 1750 Ah under 48 V for use at night-time and during low sunshine periods. To maximise the energy yield, the modules are oriented in different cardinal directions to synchronize the energy production with the energy consumption. With the German battery manufacturer BAE Batterien GmbH from Berlin, maxx and KYA did not only find a supplier, but partner as well. Jan IJspeert, CEO of the BAE Batterien GmbH supports the pilot project as he sees West Africa as an important market for his high-quality batteries. “We want to support KYA and the Togolese Government with the sustainable development of a reliable power supply industry” said Jan IJspeert.
The 30 kWp off-grid system will be the core part of the GREEN Solar Academy trainings which will focus on solar mini-grids. The GREEN Solar Academy is the successor of the maxx-solar academy. Together with 10 local partners, GREEN presently offers independent trainings in 11 academies and 9 countries in Africa. GREEN stands for Global Renewable Energy & Efficiency Network, as the goal of the academy is not only to provide trainings but also to build up a network of PV installers all over Africa. Since 2011, more than 2000 solar installers have been trained and have become part of the network. GREEN and KYA partnered to bring the academy to West Africa and to offer GREEN Academy trainings in the region. The first GREEN Solar Academy operated by KYA is the academy Togo. The KYA team participated in several training of trainers programmes of the GREEN Solar Academy and will offer the first solar PV installation training this month.
One year after the idea was born, we are delighted to welcome the Representative of the Federal Republic of Germany and the Minister of Energy to officially inaugurate the 30 kWp off-gird solar system and to launch the GREEN Solar Academy Togo on 15th November 2019.
The dena RES Project Togo is part of the worldwide dena Renewable Energy Solutions Programme coordinated by the Deutsche Energie-Agentur (dena) – the German Energy Agency – and supported by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi) within the German Energy Solutions Initiative.
German Energy Agency (dena)
dena is the centre of expertise for energy efficiency, renewable energy sources and intelligent energy systems. As Agency for Applied Energy Transition we help achieve energy and climate policy objectives by developing solutions and putting them into practice, both nationally and internationally. In order to do this, we bring partners from politics and business together, across sectors. dena’s shareholders are the Federal Republic of Germany and the KfW Group. www.dena.de/en
German Energy Solutions Initiative
The transfer of energy expertise, the promotion of foreign trade and the facilitation of international development cooperation are part of the German Energy Solutions Initiative, which is coordinated and financed by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy. The initiative offers networking and business opportunities in Germany and abroad, it showcases reference projects and facilitates know-how exchange. www.german-energy-solutions.de/en
dena Renewable Energy Solutions Programme (dena RES Programme)
The dena RES Programme was developed by the Deutsche Energie-Agentur (dena) – the German Energy Agency. This programme, supported by the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy within the German Energy Solutions Initiative, helps German renewable energy companies enter new markets. Within the framework of the programme, reference and demonstration projects are installed in cooperation with prestigious institutions. The installation is accompanied by comprehensive PR, marketing and training programmes. These projects showcase high-quality German renewable energy technology and help participating companies gain a foothold in new markets. www.german-energy-solutions.de/en/res