Project Description

  • SMA Sunbelt Energy GmbH

  • Technical training for local capacity building

  • Burkina Faso, DR Congo, Madagascar, Mali, Mauretania

The Company

SMA Sunbelt Energy GmbH is a 100% subsidiary of SMA Solar Technology AG focusing on Off-Grid and PV-Diesel Hybrid applications within the Sunbelt region. On top of technical consulting and provision of system technology, SMA Sunbelt also offers on-site trainings to its local partners as well as governmental institutions.

The Challenge

Many governments within Africa have ambitious roadmaps for solar energy on their strategic agenda. However, there are several roadblocks for local industry stakeholders (installers, project developers, financial institutions etc.) to realize these ambitious targets within the given timeframe.

Renewable Solution

In collaboration with the SMA Solar Academy, SMA Sunbelt Energy GmbH launched a series of technical on-site trainings in 2016 in order to share best practices with local solar stakeholders along with a dedicated technical training. We believe that the development of emerging solar markets can be accelarated by such a know-how transfer and local capacity building.

Each of the 2-3 days trainings, which took place in Burkina Faso, DR Congo, Madagascar, Mali, and Mauritania, was attended by 15-30 people. Besides the technical training part itself, the training provided a good platform for participants to share their experience and to discuss actual projects.

Project Financing and Costs


Project Outcome

The intense exchange between SMA and the participants helped a lot to understand each others challenges, not only from a technical perspective, but also with regards to project bridge financing, logistics, customs, and after sales service. Moving forward, this will enhance the dialogue between manufacturers and local solar installers and finally guide towards a shorter project lead time.

Next Steps

Besides intensifying collaboration with local universities as a multiplier, there will be follow-up trainings for participants on specific applications like e.g. maximizing PV penetration in Diesel Genset grids and integration of large-scale battery storage into existing PV plants.


Dr. Jens Eiko Birkholz

+49 561 9522 421333

Hands-on training on a PV plant installed in Mauritania.Technical training in Mali.