Zimbabwe is a country with a history and an embedded culture of using fossil fuels, with coal coming at the forefront, while oil products are imported using the country’s depleted resources. When the gospel of renewable energy and its green technologies products started reaching our ears, we shouted eureka, eureka. To date, there isn’t any notable development or investment in alternative forms of energy. The alternative forms of renewable energy only exist in the omniscient ZBC TV and on the lips of political liars. Currently, the country does not or has no capacity to generate electricity, apart from thermal power, from solar power, wind, biomass or bagasse. Our traditional sources of hydro-electricity generation are in an advanced form of depletion. So, where is the promised renewable energy?
Source: Untruths towards renewable energy-self sufficiency – NewsDay Zimbabwe July 18, 2016
GUEST COLUMN PETER MAKWANYA
What we always hear from the responsible political mouthpieces is the never ending commitment to do so. When and how, we are kept guessing and anticipating. Commitment, without being translated into action, will always remain a pie in the sky or a pipedream for dreamers to devour. Commitments are nothing but cheap lies, not designed for this century, but for our departed ancestors.
We are also not told that solar power is not as cheap as they would want us to believe. Yes, it’s directly generated from the large amounts of sunlight we always have, but the generated power is not stored in refrigerators, pots or any form of hide-out. It needs the services of a high-powered grid, to store it during the day and use at night.
Right now, Zimbabwe is suffocated by the costs of struggling to generate its own electricity, as well as the costs of importing power from nearby Mozambique. We are in a state of energy insecurity, but this cannot be seen as the country lacks major power consuming industries. The much needed renewable forms of energy, if properly implemented, would address power challenges while avoiding growth in greenhouse gas emissions. Although Zimbabwe’s emission levels are very insignificant, but as part and parcel of global efforts to fight climate change, the country must be seen to be moving in that direction and tone down on rhetoric. As a result, one might be forced to ask the question about the appropriate vision the country has on clean energy self-sufficiency. Despite that, issues of energy security will remain a challenge.