CAIRO, EGYPT – January 2024 – Almost 200 energy professionals, faculty, and students attended the USAID-funded Center of Excellence for Energy solar photovoltaic (PV) workshop and certification course. Led by Govindasamy (Mani) TamizhMani, PhD, director of the Photovoltaic Reliability Laboratory at Arizona State University, the program aimed to advance understanding of PV systems performance, environmental and economical concerns, reliability, and testing. The workshop and certification course were part of the Center of Excellence for Energy’s efforts to increase higher education capacity in the energy sector in Egypt.

The emergence of solar energy is making a significant impact on the future of clean and green energy production. Egypt has initiated several energy sector reforms, gradually moving towards green energy and promoting renewable energy production. The country has increased electricity production over the last five years, ensuring a stable supply across the country, and plans to increase the share of renewable energy in the electricity mix to 42% by 2035.

“In order to reach that goal, there needs to be an increase in higher education capacity in the energy sector. The Center of Excellence for Energy is working closely with Egyptian universities, the energy industry, and government ministries in Egypt to develop capacity to support this goal,” says Sayfe Kiaei, project director and professor at Arizona State University. “Working with Ain-Shams, Mansoura and Aswan universities, we are developing new curriculum in energy engineering, funding new research projects, and offering exchange and sabbatical programs for Egyptian faculty and students to come to Arizona State University as well as offering workshops like these to support our Egyptian partner universities in training a skilled workforce that can further Egypt’s energy transition.”

The Center of Excellence for Energy presented multiple workshops on solar photovoltaic systems at Ain-Shams, Mansoura, and Aswan universities during the week of December 12, 2023. There were more than 150 participants from the universities, industry, and government agencies. The workshops provided an overview of solar energy, its implementations, cost and impact of solar energy, and the reliability of solar energy. Dr. TamizhMani addressed several practical issues in terms of the development and implementation of the renewable solar system.

The center also organized a solar photovoltaic certificate program: “Testing Standards and PV Product Certification Requirement Course” with more than 75 attendees. With Dr. TamizhMani support, participants explored different testing standards for all components of the PV system, including PV module qualification testing as per IEC 61215 and IEC 62108, safety testing per IEC 61730, and nuances of retesting. The stages of PV product certification were examined as well as the accreditation requirements for certification bodies and manufacturers providing participants a holistic understanding of the certification process.

The workshop and certification course were well received with positive feedback from the faculty, students, and energy industry professionals who attended. Attendees say they gained theoretical insights into PV systems but also learned practical knowledge in the solar energy landscape.

“The certification program gave me new ideas for my research,” says Seham Abdelsamea, electronics and communication engineering instructor at Mansoura University. “I am working on a prototype of the technology itself, and the in-depth information on testing devices bridged a knowledge gap between design and fabrication. It helped me factor in crucial elements into my designs that will help meet the requirements of the departments responsible for fabrication.”

Arizona State University has been operating the Center of Excellence for Energy since 2021 in partnership with its Egyptian partner universities: Ain Shams University, Mansoura University, and Aswan University. For more information about the center and to learn about future opportunities for engagement, visit the Center of Excellence for Energy.

The Center of Excellence for Energy is funded by USAID with the support of the American people with a goal to help Egypt reach its target of 42% renewable energy by 2035 and position the country as a regional leader in clean energy. The center is operated by Arizona State University in partnership with three Egyptian universities: Ain Shams, Mansoura, and Aswan

The U.S. Agency for International Development administers the U.S. foreign assistance program providing economic and humanitarian assistance in more than 80 countries worldwide.

This announcement is made possible by the generous support of the American people through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). The contents are the responsibility of Center of Excellence for Energy and do not necessarily reflect the views of USAID or the United States Government.