The government has urged every citizen to use electricity wisely for the country to avoid debilitating power cuts during the winter months.
Speaking during a two-day national dialogue on eco-tourism and renewable energy conference on Thursday in Victoria Falls, Energy and Power Development Permanent Secretary Engineer Gloria Magombo implored Zimbabweans to change the way they use electricity and embrace energy efficiency.
The conference was attended by tourism operators, hoteliers, environmentalists, climate change experts and Government departments. Said Magombo:
We are going into winter which obviously has a much higher demand driven by main consumption coming from heating of homes and hotels where there is running of heating systems.
We would want to start by saying we need all consumers to remain conscious of the fact that as a country we are still not energy sufficient and we still have to import the balance between what our demand is and what we are consuming and what we are able to produce locally.
So it is important to continue to use energy efficiently, switching off where we don’t need power and making sure that for industry they use efficient equipment and load it properly.
Magombo revealed that the country currently generates just over 1 300MW against a demand which will go over 1 500MW to about 1 700MW during winter and the difference will be met through imports.
The bulk of the power is generated at the Kariba Hydropower plant, with Hwange Thermal power plant struggling to operate consistently due to ageing equipment.
Magombo said the expansion of Hwange 7 and 8 is 62 per cent against a target of about 80 per cent as the rehabilitation work was derailed by COVID-19 in terms of manufacturing of equipment and deployment of experts coming into the country.
She said there is significant progress being made especially on Unit 7 which will be the first to be commissioned next year as Government expects to still meet timelines.