Energy and Power Development Minister, advocate Fortune Chasi, has said that the government is crafting an incentive to promote investments into solar energy. The move is aimed at reducing pressure on grid electricity, whose generation is currently depressed due to low water levels in Kariba Dam and ageing machines at Hwange Thermal power station.
The shortage of electricity has prompted local power utility, ZESA, to roll out a 17-18 hour power cut for most parts of the country. Speaking to the Herald last week, Minister Chasi said that the government was still looking at how to best incentivise solar investments. He said:
We don’t make solar panels or any other solar equipment, so they have to be bought at those (obtaining) prices. But what we are actively looking at now is how we can incentivise investments into solar.
He added that all institutions including airports need to invest in solar power to assure themselves of uninterrupted power supply and business continuity.
His remarks are in resonance with those of Finance Minister, Professor Mthuli Ncube, who last week said:
We have been too slow in embracing renewable energy sources, we have so much sunshine, why can’t we have solar farms.
Meanwhile, the Standards Association of Zimbabwe (SAZ) already has a 194kW solar car park at its head office in Borrowdale, and all its operations are now solar-powered. The project budget was about US$400 000.
Experts say Zimbabwe has an average radiation level of 2 100kw/m2 per year.
More: The Herald