Energy Experts of the Future

Arzo, third-year student of engineering faculty, explains to her class mates how to use the solar efficiency tester at Kabul University Renewable Energy Lab. Photo: UNDP / Ajmal Sherzai / 2017

29 October 2017, Kabul –Hasan Mahdi, 22, in his last year studying at the engineering faculty at the University of Kabul, has just learned some new scientific skills.

“Before the equipment arrived, I did not have any practical knowledge, but now I have learned how to measure wind speed and humidity”, said Hasan. “I also made a concentrated solar dish, which concentrates heat into one point, that can be used for cooking and boiling water.” 

Educational organizations and universities in Afghanistan have limited sources to teach and train students on renewable energy.

The renewable energy lab of Kabul University is the first lab of its kind in Afghanistan. UNDP, in cooperation with the Ministry of Rural Rehabilitation and Development, provided the university with equipment and textbooks worth over 20,000 USD, to help the students learn practically about renewable energy.

Arzo, 22, who is in her third year of study at the engineering Faculty said, “We now have enough equipment to study practically. I know how to test the efficiency of solar panels and work all the renewable energy equipment.”

Highlights

  • Kabul University lacked renewable energy equipment for practical study.
  • UNDP provided the equipment and textbooks worth over 20,000 USD.
  • Students completed different projects using the renewable energy lab.

The equipment to which the students now have access includes barometers, electronic refrigerants, wireless weather stations, solar efficiency testers, light meters, combustion efficiency analyzers, digital altimeters and residential wind turbines.

Zaheb, a teacher at the lab, says that the students begin their practical experience by testing the energy efficiency of the entire engineering building.

The new equipment will enable the students to do well in their future careers. They will be able to become project engineers, to conduct feasible studies, and carry out technical work in the practical area of renewable energy projects.

UNDP-AF-ASERD- 29 Oct 2017 (2)Zaheb, a teacher of engineering faculty, teaches students at the renewable energy lab in Kabul University. Photo: UNDP / Ajmal Sherzai / 2017

In addition to the equipment, UNDP’s ASERD (Afghanistan - Sustainable Energy for Rural Development) project also provided an exposure visit to India for 20 engineers from different governmental and non-governmental organizations, including Kabul University lecturers. The participants attended lectures on renewable energy technologies and shared their theoretical and practical knowledge with other colleagues after completion of the training.
 
Renewable energy is an important part of Afghanistan’s future. According to the Ministry of Water and Energy, Afghanistan has the potential to produce 67,000 megawatts of electricity from wind energy, 220,000 megawatts electricity from solar energy, 4,000 megawatts of clean energy from biomass and 23,000 megawatts of electricity from water resources annually.

UNDP’s ASERD project, which is funded by Republic of Korea, not only boosts capacity in the arena of renewable energy, but will also increase access to energy and electricity to over 100,000 households in different rural communities of Afghanistan.

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