The Regional Centre for Energy and Environmental Sustainability (RCEES) has been opened in Sunyani, the Bono Regional Capital.
The Centre which is located at the University of Energy and Natural Resources (UENR) is a project by the World Bank through the Ministry of Education.
An amount of $ 6.4 million will be provided for a five-year period between 2019-2024.
UENR was selected as one of the World Bank’s Africa Centre of Excellence in the area of energy and environmental sustainability.
Speaking at the launch of the Centre, the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Energy and Natural Resources, Professor Harrison Kwame Dapaah said the Centre will focus on world-class teaching and conduct state-of-the-art research in energy and environmental sustainability.
Professor Dapaah also added that the Centre will provide tailored postgraduate programmes and short courses on sustainable energy technologies.
“The Centre is also enjoined to engage in collaborative and cutting-edge research with its educational partners in the Africa Sub-Region to create modern and new technology ideas to be disseminated in the public domain.”
The Centre is a semi-autonomous body with its operations directed by a Steering Committee made up of the Vice-Chancellor of UENR, Director of the Centre, and Chairpersons of the International Scientific Advisory Board (ISAB), Industrial Advisory Board (IAB) and representatives from the Ministries of Energy and Education.
The Director of the Centre, Dr. Eric Ofosu-Antwi noted that the Centre at the end of the five-year period is to train 50 PhD students and 250 Masters students in five different programmes to be mounted by the Centre.
“MSc in Environmental Engineering Management, MSc in Sustainable Energy Management, PhD in Environment Engineering Management and PhD in Sustainable Energy Management. Currently, 89 students have enrolled into various programmes at the Centre.”
Dr. Antwi indicated that building the capacity of sector organisations through short courses is one of the mandates of the Centre.
“Proposed short courses include; Design and installation of Stand alone Solar PV, Energy Efficiency Management, Energy Audit, Renewable Energy Market and Business Development. Solar PV Design and Installation, Wind Power Technology, Improved Cookstove Technology, Small Hydro among other courses.”
The Centre is also in partnership with Kumasi Institute of Technology, Energy and Environment, Brew-Hammond Energy Centre, Koforidua Technical Institute, Sunyani Technical Institute, Kumasi and Tamale Technical Institutes.
RCEES also has an international partnership with University of Applied Forest Sciences, Rotenburg, Advance Energy and Material System Lab, University of Canterbury, Hochschule fur Forstwirschaft, University du Quebec, University of Benin, University of Lome, University of Ibadan and ECOWAS Center for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency.
Speaking at the launch of the Centre, Chemical Engineer and Inventor, Dr. Thomas Mensah commended UENR for the initiative and noted that solutions to solve the country’s energy crisis will be found at the Centre.
Dr. Mensah indicated that he will bring on board his vast experience to help the Centre grow and develop.