Energy is now widely recognised as a critical input for achieving sustainable development. Vital sectors of Sub-Sahara African (SSA) economies such as agriculture, education and health have failed to meet expectations partly because of poor access to modern energy services which have made it extremely difficult to develop many facilities like water resources for small-scale irrigation and potable water to ensure food security, infrastructure for lighting and communication. The poor living conditions in rural areas and the lack of employment opportunities have all contributed to social unrest, which is of national and international concern.
The failure of the conventional energy-based sector, in particular, for electricity generation, to live up to expectation, and the fluctuating price of crude oil have become major threats to sustainable development. Hence, the recent interest in renewable energy (RE). SSA receives an estimated average direct solar radiation of about 6 million Gigawatts (the highest for any region in the world) and has abundant bioenergy resources, in addition to other renewable resources like hydropower, wind energy and geothermal energy.
It has been observed that renewable energy has generally not attracted the requisite level of sector policy commitment and the appropriate public and private investment in SSA. This is due to the inadequate institutional frameworks and infrastructure, limited technical expertise and shortage of qualified personnel which present enormous challenges to accelerated renewable energy development, particularly, in the West African sub-region. The limited number of qualified personnel including engineers, technicians and policy makers has been identified as the main cause of failure of many renewable energy projects in the sub-region.
In 2011, The Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), Kumasi, Ghana, the International Institute for Water and Environmental Engineering (2iE), Burkina Faso, and the Groupe de Rechercheen Electrotechnique et Automatique du Havre (GREAH) of the University of Le Havre, France, with financial support from the EU via the EDULINK Programme mounted an MSc Programme in Renewable Energy Technologies by e-Learning, in an effort to address the problems of:
The MSc programme, since then, has trained over a hundred engineers and scientists in RE technologies across the sub-region. To improve the programme to address unique challenges relevant to SSA and conduct research of relevance to the sub-region, the Norwegian government, NORAD, has provided a grant to the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology to support education and research activities from 2015-2019, and to further develop capacity to sustain the programme.
Accordingly, KNUST’s MSc programme has been revised to one year in accordance with the new categorisation of graduate programmes in the School of Graduate Studies. In order to meet the needs of the section of applicants who have need to conduct extensive research, two new programmes, an MPhil in Renewable Energy Technologies (RETs) and PhD in Sustainable Energy Technologies (SETs) components as per the new categorisation of graduate programmes in the School of Graduate Studies.
The partner institutions involved in the programme implementation are the Norwegian University of Life Sciences and Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Aalesund Campus, all in Norway.
At the end of the programme the student should be better equipped to:
For the award of the PhD SETs, the student must have:
A significant percentage of our graduates are already employed, however, for the few who may be looking for jobs, employment opportunities exist in the following areas:
School of Graduate Studies