A new approach of the alternative energy market

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A new approach of the alternative energy market: An innovative approach combining vocational training in renewable energy

Wetteren, BelgiumDar es Salaam, Tanzania
Year Founded:
Organization type: 
Project Stage:
$50,000 - $100,000
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

An innovative approach combining vocational training in renewable energy, enterprise and job creation, and local economic development that can be replicated across the country in all regions - focusing on helping its graduates and unemployed adults in surrounding communities to become entrepreneurs

WHAT IF - Inspiration: Write one sentence that describes a way that your project dares to ask, "WHAT IF?"

educated people can start their own growing business
About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

In the sector of renewable energy there is a shortage of rural technically trained people. How to implement solar- or renewable based products when they don't know how to calculate, install and maintain these expensive installations ? Many former projects have failed because no local knowledge was present. There is a lack of vocational training

Solution: What is the proposed solution? Please be specific!

For this we like to start with training of teachers and supply them with a Lab kit. We made a specific course for the training of the teachers. After the training of the teachers, they can train students in their home schools/colleges. After the local vocational training, duration of the course depends on the level of the students, students can calculate the needs of the customer, setup a solar installation,commissioning the system, provide maintenance… Then we have trained people in a booming new market with capacity building skills that have an added value for the whole community.
Impact: How does it Work

Example: Walk us through a specific example(s) of how this solution makes a difference; include its primary activities.

The little company "Zonpunt" in Belgium : I want to sell my solar products with another approach of the market : education first ! We have an University that operate as host. They invite in their county about 5 (vocational or technical) teachers who wants to teach renewable energy. Our first part of education is about off-grid solar solutions. Second part is mainly grid connected. A Belgium teacher (Pieter or Lukas) train the local teachers with our selfmate course, including goals, excercices,... We have a customized laboratory equipment that will be used in the lessons. After 3-5 days the trainers will be able to train their students. Each teacher who followed the course receive a lab kit they can use at their college/school.

Impact: What is the impact of the work to date? Also describe the projected future impact for the coming years.

Today we are going to start in July/August in Kenya and Tanzania. Pieter and Lukas are two Belgium engineers who have experience with working abroad (Uganda : setting up a solar waterpump from scratch, teaching...). Pieter has prepared a unique course for training. Together we have set up a lab equipment that suits the course. Myself,as owner of the little company "Zonpunt", I arrange contacts with universities, schools and the practical issues. After the teacher training, teachers train their students with our lab equipment. Who are the beneficiaries? - Trainers --> have new teaching skills and a lab - Colleges and schools can offer a new vocational course --> more students - Zonpunt --> educated clients - Local community --> qualified rural people - Most important the students ! --> new skills in a new market, a better future...

Spread Strategies: Moving forward, what are the main strategies for scaling impact?

When we have finished a first course in Kenya and one in Tanzania : Feedback used as a basis for improvement: - we verify that all goals are achieved. - If necessary we adapt the course and lab equipment... - how many students become client ? - input from the teachers, colleges/schools... After improving : - Implement our approach in the other counties. - After the first training (off grid) start with the second part : on grid After training in local colleges/schools, we have to see results in about 1 month

Financial Sustainability Plan: What is this solution’s plan to ensure financial sustainability?

SETUP COSTS 1. Teacher training : - 1 teacher training 3-4 days courses & preparation € 2.000,00 2. Lab equipment for 1 local teacher  SOLAR PANELS € 472,00  INVERTER - CHARGE CONTROLLER € 467,50  BATTERIES € 223,40  INSTALLATION MATERIAL € 155,20  MOUNTING MATERIAL / STRUCTURE € 214,08  FiXING TOOLS € 52,91  INSTALLATION TOOLS € 79,70  DEMONSTRATION TOOLS € 138,20

Marketplace: Who else is addressing the problem outlined here? How does the proposed project differ from these approaches?

Local companies train there own people, but they can't operate in the whole country. With our approach, we can have trained people all in the country.

Founding Story

In Belgium I sell solar installations together with my friend. I have always been attracted to Africa : I have Family in South Africa,my wedding trip was to South Africa.. End 2013 there was an arrangement with FIT (Flanders Trade and Invest) from Belgium. They made a business trip to Kenya and Tanzania. I like the countries very much. Also I see that there are at the moment a lot of companies who where selling solar products. Mostly they have their business in the big cities. Nothing rural. So I have the idea : why not educate people first and then sell to them ? Educated, they know the difference between good and bad products. I feel : help the poor and they become your clients... Yvan


Team : - Yvan De Coninck, Manager Zonpunt, a division of De Coninck Yvan bvba - Nicole Moens, Mananger of De Coninck Yvan bvba - Pieter Boone, Engineer- freelance - Lukas Kesteloot, Engineer- freelance Tanzania partner : Mr. Robert Matiku Kenya partner : Mr. Richard Matheka When project grows : In Belgium : Engineer(s) Keny/Tanzania: Manager(s) local distribution points