Gvt to introduce Solar in Homes

The Government of Zimbabwe is set to introduce solar systems in homes in a bid to beat electricity woes currently gripping the nation, Energy and Power and Development minister Elton Mangoma told parliament today.

Elton Mangoma
Elton Mangoma

Mangoma told parliament that the project will start in Mutare and later spread country wide.

“We have currently agreed with a housing cooperative in Mutare that they put solar panels as part of their roofs. The electricity so generated will be used within their homes and the surplus fed into the grid.”

The energy minister said ZESA will then supply electricity during the night.

“At night the homes will then be supplied by ZESA. At the end of the month, the account will then be settled depending on the power produced and consumed. The flow of electricity will be measured using a Reserve Meter.”

ZESA’s facilities have an installe4dv capacity of 1 960MW.But national demand is estimated at about 2200MW.

An ambitious target to restore the troubled national power utility’s full capacity by the end of 2012 through fresh investments in Hwange thermal and Kariba hydro power stations is unlikely to be achieved because of a deteriorating liquidity crisis dogging Zimbabwe.

Mangoma said the policy can be extended to anyone although it may be more applicable to new housing complexes as the panels will be part of the cost of the roof, and therefore no extra investment required.

The Energy minister said there is a programme under Rural Electrification Agency (REA) to produce solar lamps locally targeted to retail at $10 or less. Treasury has provided $1,5m to the project.

Mangoma said Zimbabwe used to import as much as 500MW firm power and at the moment the only firm power is 100MW. “The demand for electricity within the region has been growing, to a point now where whatever can be produced is utilised.”

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