PREA Promoting Renewable Energies in Africa

Helmut F. O. MOller1* and Kamugisha Byabato2

1 Chair of Environmental Architecture, Dortmund University of Technology,
Baroper Str. 301, D-44227 Dortmund, Germany
2 Department of Architecture, Ardhi University, P. O. Box 35176, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
* Corresponding author: helmut. mueller@tu-dortmund. de


PREA is a joint project between four European Universities and three African Universities as well as the International Solar Energy Society (ISES), an international NGO that promotes renewable energy. The aim of PREA is to reduce poverty by influencing energy policy and regulations in Africa, through training and capacity-building of energy professionals, regulators, and academics as well as policy — and decision-makers to enhance their skills in implementing Renewable Energy Technologies (RETs) and Energy Efficiency (EE) in buildings. There are involved three subsaharan African countries, namely South Africa, Tanzania and Uganda. Training will be offered through Workshops and a Masters Degree Course in Integration of Renewable Energy in Buildings (IREB), both made to suit local requirements in climate, economic and cultural conditions and allowing for exchange and further training opportunities. keywords: Africa, renewable energies, energy efficient buildings, workshops, Masters Degree Courses

1. Introduction

Africa is the only continent on this planet that sits squarely on the equator and where both the tropics of Cancer and Capricorn pass through its land mass. Thus Africa is mostly tropical but local microclimate in various parts it are modified by other factors such as relief and proximity to natural features such as mountain ranges and big water masses. Africa boasts of different forms of natural vegetation raging from dense tropical rain forests through grasslands to scrubland and deserts. The biggest desert in Africa is the Sahara. All these features give Africa a unique position in potential on the world renewable energy map.

It has 95% of the world’s best sunshine and a huge potential of hydro, wind, bio and geothermal energies.

However, despite the fact that on one hand the African continent is endowed with vast resources of renewable energies (RE), but on the other hand, the energy situation in most African countries is desperate.

For example in Uganda and Tanzania less than 10% of the total population has access to electricity at all. The main energy source is biomass, usually in the form of firewood, or charcoal. For the few urban and very few rural areas that are connected to electricity grid, supply failure resulting in blackouts and brownouts is a frequent and increasingly regular phenomenon.

There is, therefore, an urgent need to address RE and energy efficiency (EE) in order to improve the energy situation in an environmentally friendly and sustainable way.

One starting point to implementing RE and EE strategies in Africa is to focus on energy use in buildings, as the built environment contributes significantly to energy waste and pollution.

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