Most renewable energy capacity building and training activities in Kenya are currently undertaken by private sector players with most financed by donor funded initiatives. This approach limits the number of people who can be trained. Without institutionalization of renewable energy training programs especially at the technical training institute level there will always be insufficient local capacity to meet the demand for technical services required by the RE market. With the on-going and anticipated development of regulations in the RE sector, certification of engineers and technicians will be an important requirement. The gazetted Solar PV and Solar Water Heating regulations both require that installers of these systems be licensed. With most technicians not having access to a formal course on these technologies; the regulations will be impractical and difficult to enforce.
With Solar PV as the start, KEREA has began a process of participatory curriculum development for RE training programs; incorporating private sector, relevant government institutions such as the Directorate of Industrial Training, the Kenya Institute of Education and technical training institutions. This work needs to be extended to other RE technologies such as solar water heating, solar pumping, small wind, small hydro, biogas and biomass. Furthermore curriculum development should be followed up with capacity building and equipping of public technical training institutions to offer these courses.
With rapidly developing technology, there is also a demand for short/targeted courses to support the introduction of new technologies or skills. Institutions/Companies offering short courses in solar PV include the University of Nairobi, the Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology and the Solar Academy (a Private Public Partnership between GIZ and 3 German Companies (Energiebau Solarstromsysteme GmbH, SCHOTT Solar AG and SMA Solar Technology AG)