Through a grant from The Global Environment Facility (GEF) Small Grants Programme Bahamas (SGP), One Eleuthera Foundation (OEF) has partnered with The Island School (IS) and the Centre for Training and Innovation (CTI), to offer a 50-hour photovoltaic training course on Eleuthera in 2018.
“We are excited to have successfully obtained our third grant from The GEF SGP Bahamas and look forward to working with our partners to provide solar training and bring awareness to renewable energy on Eleuthera”, said Gacintha Gordon, Grants Officer for One Eleuthera Foundation.
The GEF Small Grants Programme was established in 1992, the year of the Rio Earth Summit. The GEF SGP embodies the very essence of sustainable development by “thinking globally acting locally”. By providing financial and technical support to projects that conserve and restore the environment while enhancing people’s well-being and livelihoods, GEF SGP demonstrates that community action can maintain the fine balance between human needs and environmental imperatives.
Training will be facilitated by The Island School who collectively, with its qualified personnel, have over 20 years of experience in renewable energy and photovoltaic systems.
The course intends to provide students with the fundamental knowledge and skills to begin careers in the solar industry. Through a combination of rigorous classroom instruction and practical field exercises, students will further their understanding of basic solar energy fundamentals, design criteria, field engineering, and safe installation of grid-tied and off-grid solar applications. This opportunity will allow 10-15 Bahamians, with previous electrical experience, an opportunity to use vocational training to further their education in the electrical trade, and to help bring energy independence to their communities.
Due to The Bahamas’ complete reliance on fossil fuels and no way of producing any, the country is vulnerable to global electricity price fluctuations. It is becoming more and more important to seek out and implement alternative energy solutions. The introduction of the Small Scale Renewable Generation (SSRG) Program in early 2017 has generated a significant amount of interest in residential and commercial solar systems.
“Solar photovoltaic technology is a proven, viable method for energy production and has strong growth potential in The Bahamas. Shifting electrical power generation to include Renewable Energy Technologies (RET’S) would create a more resilient electrical grid, likely lower the cost of electricity and increase the country’s self-sufficiency over the long term by ultimately reducing The Bahamas’ dependence on imported sources of energy such as fossil fuels”, said Michael Cortina, Director of the Center for Sustainable Development at The Island School.
RETS produce sustainable, clean energy from sources such as the sun and have the potential to strengthen The Bahamas’ energy security, improve environmental quality, and contribute to a strong energy economy.
Undoubtedly, the introduction of such training to the Eleuthera community will increase awareness and knowledge of renewable energy and its benefits which will hopefully result in an increase in the use of solar systems in homes and businesses on the island.
Stay tuned for the launch of the solar training course in mid-2018.