Participants of the 2014 VOCTEC programme currently underway at USP’s Laucala campus.
A three-week Vocational Training and Education for Clean Energy (VOCTEC) programme has kicked off at USP’s Faculty of Science, Technology and Environment’s Training Centre at the Laucala campus.
In his opening remarks, Dr Atul Raturi, an Associate Professor at the School of Engineering & Physics, said USP is committed towards providing a holistic training to the country and the region.
“We want to build human capacity in Renewable Energy and this is going to have a multiplier effect because these participants will go back to their respective countries and train others,” Dr Raturi said.
He said the three-week course from January 20 to February 7, will be based on classroom lectures and hands-on laboratory activities.
Programme facilitator Bulent Bicer from Arizona State University said solar energy is important to the Pacific.
“What we need in the Pacific is the understanding of the technology. Many projects fail because donors come and implement something but we do not have people who are qualified enough to maintain and operate it,” Bicer said.
He said solar PV was probably one of the most suitable forms of energy in the Pacific due to its geographical location.
“It (solar PV) is also more cost-effective,” he said.
The programme is being implemented by the United States Agency for International Development in partnership with the Arizona State University and USP’s School of Engineering and Physics.
Its main aim is to help improve the sustainability of renewable energy investments and infrastructure by increasing the regional capacity of qualified technical trainers and technicians to install, operate, and troubleshoot off-grid solar photovoltaic (PV) systems.
A total of 14 participants from FSM, RMI, Kiribati, Samoa, PNG and Palau are being trained as standalone Photovoltaic (solar) system trainers.
Upon completion of this training, they will conduct technician training in their respective countries.
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