Source: Legislation on solar geysers ready | The Sunday Mail 24/04/2016
GOVERNMENT will soon gazette a Statutory Instrument outlawing installation of electric geysers in all new structures so to promote use of solar-powered geysers.
The intervention is forecast to reduce electricity consumption by 40 percent as Government works towards both increasing generation capacity and managing demand.
As of Wednesday last week, Zimbabwe was generating 812MW at its five plants (Kariba 478MW, Hwange 246MW, Harare 30MW, Bulawayo 23MW, and Munyati 17MW) against national peak demand of 2 200MW.
Secretary for Energy and Power Development Mr Partson Mbiriri told The Sunday Mail Business that the draft SI was ready and had been distributed to stakeholders.
“The Statutory Instrument will be gazetted soon, (but) it’s difficult to say (when) because it has to be endorsed by the Attorney-General’s Office before we gazette it…
“It has been submitted to all stakeholders; they have endorsed it and what remains is really to follow the processes of gazetting.
“The expectation is that we could save 40 percent of the current domestic consumption.
“All new structures will be fitted with solar geysers; houses will be the major area of focus, but all new buildings and equally existing structures will be expected to, with time, replace their electric geysers with solar geysers,” said Mr Mbiriri.
Energy experts say electric geysers consume more than 40 percent of power in households. Overall, about 300MW will be saved by switching to solar geysers.
Last year, Government directed Zesa Enterprises – a subsidiary of Zesa Holdings – to start manufacturing solar geysers beginning February 2016.
Zesa spokesperson Mr Fullard Gwasira told this newspaper that “materials to manufacture enough solar geysers” had been bought.
“The long and short of it is we have gotten a lot of materials to manufacture enough solar geysers,” said Mr Gwasira.
Plans are also afoot to ensure all buildings, including those already built, migrate to solar geysers, said Mr Mbiriri.
“We are not expecting a dramatic transformation, we are expecting a process where we will progressively move towards 100 percent use of solar geysers, particularly in domestic structures – but it applies to all structures,” he said.
Southern African countries, the majority of which enjoy the world’s best solar radiation zones, are increasingly leaning towards renewable energy sources.
The Southern African Solar Thermal Training and Demonstration Initiative (Soltrain) is one of the regional initiatives on capacity building and demonstration of solar thermal systems in Sadc.
Soltrain’s major objective is to help wean Sadc off environmentally unfriendly fossil fuels and promote use of renewable energies.
Since it was launched in 2009 with support from the Austrian Development Agency and the Opec Fund for International Development, the initiative has benefited Namibia, Mozambique, Lesotho, South Africa and Zimbabwe in the first two phases.
The first phase ran from May 2009 to August 2012 while the second began in November 2012 and was expected to be completed at the end of February 2016.
Some 187 small to large-scale solar heating systems were installed.