Zimbabwe, Namibia, Zambia, South Africa and Botswana are constructing solar power plants that have the capacity to light up cities and households and in turn ease pressure on the traditional sources of power that supply the national electricity grids of the respective countries.
Most countries in the region rely on hydro and thermal power for domestic and industrial use.
Just like its neighbours, Zimbabwe has in recent years been making huge investments in grassroots solar energy projects for domestic use and also for powering agriculture.
Just last week, President Emmerson Mnangagwa toured the Nyangani non-renewable energy power project in Mutoko which has the capacity to contribute 10MW into the national energy grid.
Zimbabwe has a green energy plan to promote the use of renewable energy with the initial aim of making up to a 600MW shortfall in electricity production.
According to the Ministry of Energy and Power Development’s final draft policy, Zimbabwe wants to generate at least 1 000 MW of power or 16% of its total projected generation through solar and other renewable energy systems by 2025.
The country’s thermal and hydro electricity supply is not enough to meet the country’s electricity demand and the Ministry of Energy aims to meet the shortage with solar generated electricity.
Currently, Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority (ZESA) generates 1 500MW against a demand of about 2 200MW.