Leonard Ncube, Victoria Falls Reporter
The Chief Executive of the ZIMBABWE Energy Regulatory Authority (Zera), Mr. Eddington Mazambani, has called for increased enforcement of the installation of solar heaters on all new electrical connections to ensure the ‘energetic efficiency.
This has the net effect of reducing unnecessary energy consumption, especially at a time when the country is struggling to provide enough electricity to users, he said.
Stakeholders of the just-concluded 3rd International Renewable Energy Conference and Expo also implored the Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission and Distribution Company (ZETDC) to embrace the technology and introduce the smart grid concept.
A smart grid is an intelligent grid, which allows real-time communication between the utility and consumers, through which a consumer can monitor usage and if he realizes that something has been turned on at home, he can turn it off remotely.
It comes as the Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority works to roll out smart technology, which includes smart electricity meters that will allow consumers to control usage and the electricity utility to remotely disconnect those in power. default of payment.
Zesa plans to install over 2,000 smart meters this first quarter and another 4,000 in the second quarter.
Speaking at the event, Mazambani said the new net metering regulations allow properties, including households, to generate 5MW of renewable energy from 100kW, for local consumption and excess supply from the national grid.
“In terms of geysers, we have regulations, which were enacted in 2019 in terms of the electrification of new connections by the utility, which require any new connection to ensure that the connected home has solar heating geysers of water,” he said.
“After analyzing consumption patterns, we realized that most of the electricity was used for heating and cooling. It is an inefficient way of using electricity and by mandating the installation of solar water heating geysers we want to ensure that there is efficient use of electricity in homes.
Permanent Secretary for Energy and Electricity Development, Dr Gloria Magombo, said there is still a lot of work to be done to move from old systems of electricity generation and consumption to new technologies, which also reduces energy costs.
She called on energy stakeholders to explore all available options to ensure energy efficiency, adding that her ministry will continue its dialogue with the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe and the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development to create an enabling environment. to smart energy production.
The government phased out old geysers a few years ago to ensure energy efficiency, as geysers are among the big energy consumers. Even in hotels, concerns have been raised about the high energy consumption of geysers, air conditioning and other lighting fixtures that should be replaced with smart energy technology.
The push towards the adoption of renewable energy, with solar, hydro, wind and gas among green energy sources, is also continuing.
Meanwhile, in Victoria Falls, nearly 130 families who are in new CBZ stands have pooled their resources to connect electricity to their homes with the help of Zesa.
The suburb was created in 2015 and home seekers started building their homes in 2016, and the majority of them are currently solar powered as the owners installed a solar system.
Each household paid around US$600 for the new electricity connections and Mr. Tafadzva Mtowa, who chairs the initiative, said they had almost completed preparations and would soon be connected to the grid. — @ncubeleon