The 515kWp solar-power system on the roof of UNEP headquarters in Nairobi was recently connected to the grid by the UN Global Ministerial Environment Forum. With this project, Energiebau has created the first climate-neutral office building in Africa.

Working with a team of Germans and Africans, Energiebau planned and installed the 515 kWp solar-power system for UNEP’s new office building, in close co-operation with and incorporating German solar technology from SCHOTT Solar and SMA Solar Technology AG, as well as modules from the Japanese firm Kaneka. Following a three-month installation phase, the system consisting of 4,000 modules was ready to go live. In this sunny location, the system will produce 750,000 kilowatt hours of clean solar energy each year, providing more electric energy than will likely be consumed by the building with its 1,200 employees.

This achievement points the way towards a green future for the continent through de-central production of renewable energy directly at the place of consumption. “Photovoltaic’s is developing into an important factor for the climate-neutral architecture of the future,” the Managing Director of Energiebau Michael Schäfer explained. The importance of the developing east African market is reflected by the level of commitment to this flagship project, highlighting solar energy’s potential and performance capacity in Africa.

“Local installers are being trained by Energiebau as part of its development partnership with the Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ),” explains Hendrik Linneweber, GIZ Kenya Country Director. In the future, Kenyan installers will be trained in their own solar academy in cooperation with local training institutions and the companies SCHOTT Solar and SMA.

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