Training week

Project partners photographed in front of the Tsumkwe energy centre
The Tsumkwe Energy project resulted in the construction and operation of a solar diesel hybrid electricity generation system that significantly reduce diesel consumption in the settlement. This system allow Tsumkwe to increase its electricity supply from 12 – 14 hour diesel power generation to a 24 hour per day power system. The hybrid electricity system that was installed is operated by Otjozondjupa Regional Council (OTRC).

In addition the project introduced:
* Energy efficient appliances and appropriate thermal energy sources such as LPG gas stoves and solar water heaters;
* The existing electricity supply infrastructure was upgraded;
* Converted magnetic swipe electrical meters, which was outdated, to modern keypad type prepaid electricity meters;
* Upgraded the revenue collection system;
* Refurbished and added additional streetlights;
* Connected 60 additional households to the electrical network;
* Connected four additional businesses to the electrical network;
* Local economic growth opportunities were promoted;
* A trust was established to ensure that revenue generated from the hybrid electricity system is re-invested into the system and into other upliftment initiatives in Tsumkwe.

The impacts that the project has had on the community are the following:
* Improved and expanded public services delivery;
* Residents now have 24-hour access to electricity and water supply;
* Increased revenue collection from electricity sales;
* New businesses opened and business opportunities created;
* Increased working and study hours for professionals and learners.

Challenges and lessons learnt
The technology has proven to be reliable, which allows for replication in other settlements like Tsumkwe. The main challenge to the sustainability of the system is continuous operation and maintenance of the system, something that has shown to be difficult to achieve.

To successfully replicate the Tsumkwe energy system elsewhere it is important to:
* Conduct an in-depth assessment of the needs of the local community;
* Select a proven hybrid system technology;
* Implement energy efficient appliances and improve awareness of consumers;
* Identify and appoint an Energy/Operations Manager;
* Maintain continuous interaction with the users;
* Conduct regular maintenance;
* Regular consumption metering and interpretation of the data;
* Timely revenue collection;
* Conduct regular energy awareness campaigns