EnergyCPD - EEC Member Spotlight
Building Solar Energy Pumps in Afghanistan
- Eng Zafaruddin Stanikzai
The European Energy Centre (EEC) is pleased to focus on the achievements of the Members of the EnergyCPD Professional Membership Programme, who are progressing their careers in the Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency sectors, through a variety of CPD Approved Activities.
“The European Energy Centre is one of the best sources of renewable energy knowledge”
The EEC, which works with the United Nations Environment Programme and major universities to promote best practice in Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency, this month is delighted to speak with Zafaruddin Stanikzai, who is an MEEC Member of EnergyCPD and has attended a number of online training sessions at the EEC. Zafaruddin is currently undertaking important work to Afghanistan in order to provide clean drinking water and electricity to remote communities.
1. What have you gained through your MEEC Membership and how has this helped your career in the Renewable Energy industry?
I have gained a lot from my MEEC membership: being updated about renewable energy progress worldwide through webinars and other resources provided by EEC, interacting with highly talented experts in this area, learning about new fields of renewable energy and researching more about them, all leads me toward my aim to achieve a Master’s degree in Renewable Energy.
Additionally, being a Member of an international organisation means that I can display my status as an Expert in the sector and I can share my expertise with others in my country, for example by consulting on external projects and similar opportunities.
2. Why did you choose to join the EnergyCPD Membership Programme?
I am working for a Renewable Energy Company and my job is the design, implementation and commissioning of various systems: from small home systems to solar water heating, water pumps and many more. Working on this wide range of projects requires in-depth knowledge and for me to be up-to-date in all areas.
“Being a Member of an international organisation means that I can display my status as an Expert in the sector.”
The European Energy Centre is one of the best sources of renewable energy knowledge and I was first introduced to the organisation when I attended a webinar, which was recommended to me by a friend. I then became eager to learn more about the EEC and I found their resources very useful to me. In the future, I wish to achieve a Master’s degree in Renewable Energy and I want to be ready for that: the EEC has therefore really helped me in my career.
3. Please can you explain more about the important project that you are currently working on, to use solar systems to provide safe drinking water to remote communities in Afghanistan?
The aim of the solar water pumping systems is to provide safe and clean water for poor people in remote areas, to the communities where they are not able to access and cannot support the provision of clean water for drinking. These are remote areas where there is no water source available except for digging wells, or those which have dirty river water.
These important projects that I am working on are funded by UNICEF, the Government of Afghanistan and other international organisations. We are implementing these projects all over Afghanistan in order to contribute to a more self-sufficient and sustainable future for remote communities in the country.
4. What is your background and expertise in the renewable energy field?
I have a bachelor’s degree in Electrical and Electronics Engineering from Afghanistan and a post graduate diploma in transmission and distribution of power systems from India. I am working for a renewable energy company (European Technology Company) and the company is implementing many Solar PV projects. I am undertaking the design of various Solar PV projects and implementing them. Meanwhile, we are working with World Bank/IFC for a project with the aim to provide lighting in all remote areas of Afghanistan. Currently, 35% of people are connected with grid power and it is too difficult to reach the whole country by the grid in the next 30 years, as our country is mountainous and government action is not particularly fast. Therefore, small home systems (SHS) are the best option to bring light to the rest of the country, especially to children and students who are particularly affected by the lack of electricity.