"Zimbabwe Should Make Huge Investments In Solar Energy"
A local energy expert, Victor Utedzi, says Zimbabwe needs to make huge investments in solar energy to deal with its current energy crisis.
On Thursday, Zimbabwe had a shortfall of nearly 900MW, according to ZESA’s internal daily updates.
The Zambezi River Authority (ZRA), which manages Kariba Dam, last week advised ZESA to stop production at the Kariba South hydroelectric plant because of low usable water levels.
Speaking during an interview with News24, Utedzi said another option that Zimbabwe has is to ask to purchase water from the Zambian side of the Kariba Dam. He said:
The solution [to Zimbabwe’s power crisis] is to increase the variety of power generation avenues in the country from other sources.
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The 600MW Hwange extension will help by reducing the amount of generation.
The country has to deploy more solar photovoltaic (PV), which works during the day and allows water to be conserved.
Solar is clearly the best prospect. It’s the lowest cost, quick to build, and the sun is in abundant supply in the country. There are also good wind resources spread throughout the country.
The Zimbabwe National Water Authority has a number of dams already built, which could provide up to 500MW of power.
There’s the Muzabani oil and gas prospect drilling by Invictus. It’s still subject to a successful drilling programme.
Even then, there is a need for significant capital spending to extract the gas, clean it into a usable form for power generation, and build transportation facilities for consumers.
It’s an excellent prospect that will require significant capital to be fully exploited.
He said Zimbabwe should improve the ease of doing business and assure investors that the environment is safe and profitable as it is competing with its neigbours for the same pool of capital.