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power-short zimbabwe removes barriers to solar energy expansion

by:Earlston     2020-04-15
On July 17, rengro endlovo Bravo, Zimbabwe (
Thomson Reuters Foundation-Power-
Zimbabwe has lifted import tariffs on solar energyenergy-
Government officials said the products involved, from batteries to cables, and asked all new buildings in the country to include solar systems.
In response to the shortage of electricity, partly due to repeated drought in hydropower, the country will now \"promote imports (and)
The production of local solar equipment and the use of solar energy as an alternative energy source, \"the country\'s information minister, Monica mutevangwa, said on Tuesday.
The government says it has set a target of at least 1,575 MW of electricity from solar by 2030 --
The country produces roughly the same amount of electricity today from various sources.
Energy experts say the government of Zimbabwe is increasingly calling for renewable energy to be expanded in response to power shortages, but the lack of effective coordination of policies has hindered the process.
Solar energy suppliers and renewable energy experts say the cost of installing solar systems in Zimbabwe is too high, hindering the expansion of clean energy.
Patrick Bivin, small for sale-
Scale of Solar System in Hararemade 12-
The volt battery used with a small solar system costs $75-
But import costs and taxes plus an increase mean he sold the battery locally for $350.
Although solar panels, lamps, inverters and lanterns are tax-free, the government is asking for a 15% value
VAT and tariffs on batteries and other solar system components.
President of Zimbabwe, solahat-
The company that installed solar panels in Harare to power traffic lights-
The purpose of the tariff, he said, is to reduce the import of solar cells to protect local companies that also produce solar cells.
But as China tries to expand its solar power generation, local production is not enough to meet the expected demand, he said.
The Minister for Energy and Power Development, Fortune Chasi, told the Thomson Reuters Foundation that the purpose of the new policy change was to \"encourage even ordinary individuals to come in and invest in solar projects \".
In order to encourage the wider use of solar energy, the government has introduced a net measurement-
In clean energy tariffs and policy revisions, the acting head of Zimbabwe\'s energy regulatory agency, Mishk siyakatashan, said to enable \"independent power producers\" to increase renewable energy to the State GridZERA).
The Minister for Industry and Commerce, Nqobizitha Mangaliso Ndlovu, said the government is also establishingstop-
Shopping and investment centers to help potential renewable energy investors handle all the required licenses in one place.
\"Our focus is to ensure that we promote the smooth progress of investment,\" Ndlovu said in an interview . \".
He said the net metering regulations that allow renewable energy producers to add any excess energy they produce to the state grid have been in place since last year.
\"This initiative does not require permission and only requires the family or premises to register with the distribution company,\" Siyakatshana said . \".
Some projects are ready to take advantage of these changes.
Last month, mobile phone company Econet Msasa became the first company to connect solar panel installations to the state grid.
However, renewable energy investors say they want to see more changes in Zimbabwe\'s clean energy policy, such as a more relaxed licensing rule for small producers.
For example, now, \"If you want to invest as an independent power producer, you have to negotiate how much electricity a person will sell to ZESA \"--
Masola of solahat Zimbabwe says there are some things that are hard to predict.
Chandirector Kera Mutubuki, a small renewable energy consultant who has participated in a series of clean energy programs in Zimbabwe, said she hopes the new regulations will bring rapid progress in clean energy.
\"I think the Ministry of Energy and Electricity Development (MOEPD)
If we start implementing solar options, we are on the right track.
\"The problem is that we talked for years and didn\'t get any actual projects,\" she said . \".
\"Large megawatt power plants are not the only solution.
\"If there is one, they are too expensive and it will take a long time to implement,\" she said . \".
She suggested that MOEPD fous be on a smaller system, including providing loans to families for the installation of solar panels and repaying the money through electricity bills.
\"This will solve our load reduction problem because the family will be out of the grid,\" she said . \".
Kalani Ndlovu, a farmer who installed a solar micro-grid on his farm in Umguza, Matabeleland North province in 2019, said it had proved to be cooking and lighting for pumping water.
\"It took me about $5,000 to build a solar system on my farm.
\"At first, the cost may seem high, but I enjoy the benefits of solar energy because of the Sun,\" he said . \".
\"I plan to expand my solar project and sell some equipment to my neighbors and even the state grid. ”(
Reports from Lungelo Ndhlovu;
Editor Laurie Goring :(
Please thank the Thomson Reuters Foundation, a Thomson Reuters charity that covers humanitarian news, climate change, resilience, women\'s rights, trafficking and property rights.
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