Solar power is the way to go: ZERA

Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority (ZERA) has encouraged people to use sustainable energy instead of depending on electricity.

The country has been experiencing massive load shedding that lasts up to 18 hours a day, which the Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority (ZESA) attributed to the critically low water levels at the main hydro plant station in Lake Kariba and ageing equipment at Hwange Power Station.

Speaking during a ZERA domestic consumer education and awareness outreach program on the safe use of energy in the home held in Cowdray Park, Wednesday, Engineer Nobert Matarutse, said residents should opt for solar energy as it is readily available.

“As ZERA we have decided that it is better to use solar energy than buying electricity from South Africa as it requires forex we do not have, so let us use the sun,” said Engineer Matarutse.

He encouraged residents to buy all the necessary equipment required to set up solar systems in their houses.

“Can we buy solar panels, solar batteries, inverters and charge controllers. We all know that we pay for ZESA but when it comes to solar, we do not pay and hence no meters are required,” said Engineer Matarutse.

He added that as ZERA it is their mandate to ensure that everyone has electricity in the country all the time.

“As a sector it is our duty to make sure everyone has electricity which will always be there and the only electricity people can always have is the power mentioned in Genesis which is solar energy or from wind, wind can make us always have power because as it blows turbines turn and we have electricity which falls under sustainable energy,”  the official said.

The engineer also reiterated that waste materials can also be used to make renewable energy.

“If we go to Bulawayo City Council (BCC) right now, they are dumpsites where people throw away litter and we can construct a station from the litter thrown into bins to make electricity from that and that is sustainable energy,” he said.

Engineer Matarutse added that human waste which is giving the city challenges can be harnessed to generate electricity.

“As we keep having meetings with council and they keep complaining about high electricity rates, we say to them since you are complaining about the rates how about you make electricity from your sewerage waste and dump sites because it is possible,” he said.

He added that depending on coal-powered stations is not sustainable as coal is a finite resource.

“Depending on coal is hopeless because it can be depleted as it comes from trees and we can all agree that right now we do not have many trees in the country and coal is also being depleted so our focus is to use electricity that does not end,” said Engineer Matarutse.   

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