Zambia Power Company, ZESCO – Mundia Simainga
Accredited Master in Renewable Energy Award Achiever
The Renewable Energy Institute (REI) is pleased to focus on the achievements of those who have attended REI courses and attained the internationally recognised Galileo Master Certificate to further their careers in the Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency sectors. The REI, which works with the United Nations Environment Programme and major universities to promote best practice in Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency, this month is delighted to speak with Mundia Simainga. Mundia wanted to study remotely while he was working full-time and he enrolled on the Accredited Master in Renewable Energy Award through his employer, ZESCO Ltd – an electricity utility company who supply and distribute power to the residents of Zambia.
1. Why did you choose to study with the REI? Firstly, I had some background in energy – particularly Hydro Power -and was nominated to establish the Renewable Energy Division of ZESCO Ltd. Therefore, I chose the Renewable Energy Institute because I was looking for an institution that could provide me accredited training in Renewable Energy while I was settling down to establish the Renewable Energy Division for Zambia’s power utility, ZESCO Ltd.
2. How did the Master Award programme fit into your regular schedule? The Accredited Master in Renewable Energy Award was very suitable because I was able to take online lectures while I was working. Only my supervising Director was aware that I was studying because the REI programme is very flexible. Secondly, I could choose the modules to study according to the scope of work I was heavily involved in. When we started Solar projects, I took courses related to Solar Energy. Later, when Wind Projects were about to take place, I studied the Wind Power module at the same time. This meant that aligning the various lessons according to the needs of my employer, ZESCO Ltd, was easy.
3. What are the skills that you gained with the REI (and have you applied them to your work)? There are various skills that I have gained from the Accredited Master Renewable Energy Award. Firstly, Renewable Energy has emerged in recent years and the programme provided an overview of available technologies, and how to approach financing, environmental, legal and regulatory aspects. In particular, for each technical module the design approach for estimating power and energy has been very useful as the lessons were packaged with practical projects with links to required software. I have improved my design approach for Solar projects, Wind projects and Hydro Power projects. I have also improved my ability to scope any size of renewable energy project and in the past year we have packaged 300MW of Solar Projects and 100MW of small Hydro Power projects, just to name a couple. I continue to make reference to the literature and references that were supplied on the Accredited Master in Renewable Energy Award.
4. How have you used these skills to further your career or education? I am in the process of trying to find a way to pursue further education in the exciting space of Renewable Energy. I am actively involved in various aspects and, in June 2019, I am scheduled to make a presentation in Canada on the work we are doing in Zambia. My scope of work involves Hydro Power, Wind Power, Solar Power and other hybrids, for instance, we have since packaged an off-grid 0.5MW plant to be established in a rural District of Zambia. I have been invited by UNIDO [United Nations Industrial Development Organization], together with ZESCO’s management, to consult on the feasibility study for an off-grid project that is scheduled to be funded through UNIDO. The REI’s courses have improved my Technical, Management and personal skills in Renewable Energy.
5. What was your favourite part of the Master Award pathway? I enjoyed most of the modules and it is difficult to pick one aspect because of the relationships on the market. Given my previous background in Hydro Power, I enjoyed the Solar Photovoltaics and Wind Power project preparation modules but the Renewable Energy Management and Finance was equally interesting.
6. Would you recommend the Master Award pathway to others?I have recommended the programme to various colleagues at work and in the family. I am also making follow-ups on any updated courses in order to keep my knowledge relevant. I believe my organisation and Zambia needs more Renewable Energy Experts given that our economy is relatively energy intensive driven by agriculture, industry and mining. I look forward to learning more things in energy and contributing to society.
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