Friday Dec 02, 2022

Firm urges solar energy partnerships to curb deficits – The Herald


The Herald

Michael Tome

Business Reporter

SHINKO Afrika, a local company specialising in solar energy provision says authorities should consider partnering more solar energy producing companies to curb enduring power deficits that bedevilled the country lately.

According to Shinko Afrika managing director, Prince Chizemo, the move will reduce reliance on electricity from Kariba hydro-power station and Hwange power station. The solar energy firm highlighted that while there were many players in the solar energy sector, few had been assessed and endorsed by the Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority (ZERA) a position he claimed was undermining the sector’s contribution in alleviating power challenges.

Nonetheless, he indicated that the sector was generally privileged because of Government policies through the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (ZIMRA) and Ministry of Finance’s interventions that resulted in the relaxation of customs duty on solar products thereby making the products more affordable on the local market.

In an interview with The Herald Finance & Business, Mr Chizemo said Zimbabwe was endowed with abundant sunlight and should tap into solar energy to provide power to the population through partnerships with independent power producers in the solar energy sector through the establishment of more solar farms that supply into the main grid, further pointing that it would significantly contribute to local industry’s uptime as power situation would be improved.

“We have an energy crisis in Zimbabwe and the majority of our industries and households are being compromised by lack of power, at Shinko Afrika we are looking at partnering with our power utilities firms in generating more energy for Zimbabwe.

“We would want to partner our power utility companies by taking more households off the grid which means we have more energy to be allocated towards industry, which means more production.

“As Shinko Afrika, we are remodelling ourselves to be in a position where we can partner Government and the energy fraternity of Zimbabwe so that we can be able to establish solar farms and feed into the grid,” said Mr Chizemo.

He encouraged players in the agriculture sector to embrace green energy (solar power) as it is a sustainable source of power for both animal husbandry and irrigation.

Mr Chizemo said the use of solar energy would be critical in powering irrigation which is a supplement to rain-fed agriculture thus improving the sector’s output in the country.

“Zimbabwe is an agricultural society and the more we invest in solar energy, the more we are going towards being the breadbasket of Africa. We do not always have to rely on the rains but can tap from underground sources for irrigation. As a company, we commit ourselves to the growth of this economy in terms of agricultural produce,” said Mr Chizemo.

Critically, the company pointed out that the adoption of their line of business was inspired by the need to promote sustainability with regards to power provision in the country in tandem with United Nations (UN) set Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

“Growing up, I did not understand what it meant for our cattle to have water because it was natural, but over the years the environment has depleted in some parts of the country, many rivers are getting dry and livestock cannot have water.

“This made us look at SDG 13, towards a sustainable environment and elimination of global warming, thus we embraced green energy,” he said.

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