Andersson Contreras Olmos 

"I really want to tell you how the solar energy course changed many aspects of my life, and I mean not only academic, but also economic and environmental aspects."

While working as an Electronic Engineer in Colombia, Andersson Contreras Olmos participated in the first edition of the online course Solar Energy. Read about his experience.

What was your motivation for enrolling in these courses?
Today, energy is a primary necessity for any country. Most methods of generating energy cause pollution to the world we live in. Solar energy is an environmentally friendly generation technique that allows us to get energy directly from the sun thus reducing our reliance on fossil fuels. Furthermore, generating solar energy is cheap and anyone can install photovoltaic systems in their own house. This helps to decrease their carbon footprint and reduces the cost of their energy bills. I am now working on a PV projects start-up, all thanks to this course.

I really want to tell you how the solar energy course changed many aspects of my life, and I mean not only academic, but also economic and environmental aspects. It all started when I enrolled in the Solar Energy MOOC with TU Delft.

How would you describe your online learning experience?
From my previous studies I had not learned much about energy from the sun. My favourite among the sciences is modern physics and my previous knowledge of solid state physics helped me understand more easily the course elements related to semiconductors. I must say, though, that these topics were very clearly explained by Professor Arno Smets in each of the lectures. I completed the course without any failures in the exams and assignments so I got a score of 100% and a Verified Certificate.

Using all this knowledge, I installed my own PV system using the mathematical tools provided for that purpose and the economic results of the system are very satisfactory. I have a saving of over 50% on the cost of my energy, I have a continuous electricity supply and I am contributing to the reduction of greenhouse gases to the atmosphere.

My plan now is to work with the “Wounaan” indigenous community living in Colombia, specifically in the department of Chocó, in the city of Litoral del San Juan. They suffer from a lack of electricity 18 hours a day or more and derive their electricity from diesel generators, which do not really satisfy the needs of this population and produce a great deal of pollution. This is one part of a national project called “Ideas para el Cambio” (Ideas for Change) and it was outlined in the project website. I am currently waiting for a government response to the proposal to generate photovoltaic energy in the town. The initial project will require an investment of approx. €40,000 and it would help 30 to 40 families.

I am very grateful that Delft University of Technology offers this unique and free course to all. My thanks to Professor Arno Smets and the whole team of DelftX and edX for giving me this opportunity.

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