The University would be the first tertiary institution in Ghana to commence a programme like that.
President of the University, Prof Nicholas Nsowah-Nuamah told this paper in an interview that the Certificate programme in solar engineering would be a one-year course while the Diploma would span two years.
The two programmes, Prof Nsowah-Nuamah disclosed would be run in collaboration with the National Board for Professional and Technician Examinations (NABPTEX) and would be largely “hands on training.”
He told this paper that the university had already commenced arrangements with the National Accreditations Board (NAB) for appropriate accreditation for the degree programme in solar engineering. ‘We’re hopeful that the degree programme would take off by January next year,” Prof Nsowah-Nuamah told this reporter.
One of the trail blazers in solar technology and solar panel production who is set to be key to the University’s solar engineering agenda is Canadian born Ghanaian, Kwame Ardiabah who has been in the field of production of servers, tablets and laptops.
He was invited by Prof Nsowah-Nuamah to perform install solar panels for the University and teach students how to produce the panels.
In an exclusive interview with Mr Ardiabah, he said “when I came down, I had some solar panels with me from Canada and my vision is to power every server, every computer and all the laboratories in Ghana with solar energy.”
This, he said will enable us take all those machines from the national grid and save energy.
According to him, while installing the panels in Canada he could get 12 volts of energy from them but when he installed them in Ghana at Regent University I got 48volts, meaning the abundance of sunshine is more in Ghana than in Canada.
“Ghana is blessed because we are close to the equator so the ability for us to harvest sunshine and utilize its energy in our installations, in our homes, in our schools, universities is very huge,” the Canadian Born Ghanaian engineer noted. According to Mr Ardiabah, it would boost the economy.
The vision of the president of Regent University is for the school to be able to manufacture the solar panels in Ghana and “that is what we have done and are still doing.”
This paper’s own checks on the campus of the university revealed the powering of a computer laboratory of Regent University with 34 computers as well as the school’s engineering laboratory.
Mr Ardiabah reckoned the concerns of many including governments regarding the cost of solar technology and solar installations but played down those concerns, pointing out that “the cost is very minimal when you look at the benefits.” In the economic sense, the sun has been in abundance in Ghana and so should be tapped properly.
He cautioned that some of the solar panels imported into the country had certain limitations, adding that there was the need for more research to be done to see how sunshine could be harvested in abundance.
The engineer disclosed that Ghana abounds in the raw materials used in the production of solar panels and encouraged the Minister of Energy to pay a visit to Regent University to witness for himself what had been done by way of solar.