First training centre for renewable energies opens in Central America

The Center for Research and Development in Renewable Energies at the EARTH University in Costa Rica was inaugurated on 30 November. University representatives were joined in officially opening the centre by Kerstin Pürschel, the trade representative of the German Embassy in Costa Rica. The training centre is the first of its kind for renewable energies in Central America. Students will learn about the potential applications and technical aspects of renewable energies in a practical learning environment. The new 'laboratory' addresses the challenges presented by different forms of renewable energy and the installation of these technologies in tropical developing countries. The centre's creation is part of the REN@EARTH project, which the EARTH University has been implementing since March 2011 and which is funded by the International Climate Initiative (ICI). 

The international EARTH University in Costa Rica is attended by students from more than 25 countries, mainly in Central and South America. Renewables Academy AG (RENAC) is assisting the University with this project, which aims to transfer expertise in renewable energies to students, future trainers and lecturers, industry representatives and other stakeholders. 

The project incorporates specially designed practical seminars on renewable energies into the University's regular study programmes. The University also offers continuing education for lecturers and courses for interested citizens. Additional technology-specific training seminars are also available to industrial engineers and practitioners in the region. A RENAC lecturer is working in Costa Rica to help the University with technical and teaching issues. Study trips to Germany give students a chance to enhance their knowledge outside the classroom and supplement continuing training sessions. 

In this way, the project promotes increased use of renewable energy technologies in the region and supports Costa Rica in implementing its national climate strategy, which aims to make the country climate-neutral by 2021. Graduates also disseminate the knowledge that they have gained in their native countries and future working environments.