Independent training institute
The GREEN Solar Academy PTY Ltd. is an independent training provider. GREEN is the African branch of the DGS SolarSchool, founded by the German Solar Energy Society (DGS), and the successor academy of the maxx-solar academy.
GREEN stands for Global Renewable Energy & Efficiency Network as our goal is not only to provide training but to build up a network of PV installers all over Africa. GREEN is the link between manufacturers, wholesalers, associations and PV installers, our alumni.
Our services are:
- Global Renewable Energy & Efficiency Network
- Photovoltaic training courses in our academies
- Inhouse and customised photovoltaic training courses
- Solar training consultancy (training programme development, training of trainers, curriculum and TTLM development)
- Project management
The GREEN Approach
The approach of all trainings through the GREEN Solar Academy is to be as practical as possible. All courses place considerable emphasis on hands-on exercises to not only teach theoretical knowledge but practical application. GREEN training follows modern teaching methods, such as interactive sessions, learning questions and different types of self-tests to ensure the optimal learning effect. The training programmes are product-neutral and are continuously updated to keep pace with market requirements and trends.
By involving industry partners already in the courses, we make sure that there is always a practical connection to the industry. After training more than 2500 PV installers in Africa, we have built up a strong and widespread network that includes among others installation companies, EPCs, manufacturers, consultants, public and governmental players.
Already during the training, we encourage the participants to exchange and network. For many participants, the training is the first step into a successful business, and we offer several complimentary services to our alumni to help them grow. Read more about the GREENetwork here.
We started out in 2011, when a German solar company, maxx-solar & energie, and a German NGO, the German Solar Energy Society DGS, joined forces to promote the use of solar energy in South Africa. Together they founded a company called maxx|solar energy (Pty) Ltd.
The Thuringian Regional Association of the German Solar Energy Society DGS e.V. operates the renewable energy training center DGS Solarschool in Germany. The DGS has long term experience in renewable energy training world-wide. As solar energy was still at its beginning in South Africa, we founded a training academy to educate clients and installers about the potentials of solar photovoltaic. We chose the name maxx solar academy for our first DGS Solarschool branch in South Africa to honor the German company which made the launch of the training center possible.
Wholesale market experience
The German company maxx-solar & energie with headquarters in Thuringia in Germany provides its customers with all services related to photovoltaics, including the planning, construction and maintenance of residential, commercial or agricultural PV power plants. Through the trainings, maxx saw the potential of the market and started also a commercial department as addition to the trainings. The service and product range of maxx|solar energy (Pty) Ltd. included consulting, planning and wholesale. This 2 in 1 solution provided a great benefit to the customers as they all were searching for products after they did the training and at that time the availability of solar products was still limited.
Also for the trainings the wholesale activities brought a great benefit: through the close contact to installation companies which we keep until today, we were able to adjust the training content to latest market requirements.
Over time, the market grew and grew further (thanks to the first wave of load shedding!) and the team decided to partner up with IBC Solar, the German wholesaler with who they collaborated with from the beginning. A joint venture was founded in 2017 and up to today, the IBC Solar South Africa PTY Ltd. is one of the biggest solar wholesalers in South Africa.
Becoming an international training provider
The South African maxx|solar then only concentrated on trainings and training consulting and the maxx-solar academy became the main brand. The market continued to develop and the maxx solar academy collaborated with various wholesalers and manufacturers. The activities were extended also to the neighbouring countries: Namibia and Zimbabwe in 2016, Lesotho in 2017 and Angola, Togo and Mozambique in 2019.
With more and more international branches, consulting activities often together with NGOs and the increasing number of industry collaborations, it became clear that we needed to take the next step to make the academy totally independent. We needed to turn it into a pure training institute. So end of 2019, we took the decision to take the academy out of the South African maxx-solar energy PTY Ltd and re-found it under the name GREEN Solar Academy. GREEN stands for Global Renewable Energy and Efficiency Network and was chosen to reflect the relevance of the network in the overall academy concept.
From 1st January 2020, GREEN continues the work of the maxx|solar academy with the vision to educate as many people as possible and contribute leading Africa into a green future.