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Zimbabwe power shortage attracts solar investment

by Staff reporter
04 Jul 2019 at 19:24hrs | Views
Faced with a punishing load shedding schedule, sometimes lasting 15 hours, the Zimbabwean renewable energy market has opened limited prospects.

The prolonged phase, ignited by a recent drought, adversely limiting its Kariba hydro power generation is chocking vital economic operations.

The latest Energy Progress Report found out that about 840 million people (about 11 percent of the people on the planet) now live without electricity, which is down from 1 billion in 2016, and 1.2 billion in 2010.

A bulk of those nations without electricity — 573 million — are in Sub-Saharan Africa, which is home to the 20 countries with the lowest rates of electricity — Zimbabwe included.

Solar potential

Zimbabwe is blessed with an abundant sunshine and it has potential to provide enough power to meet high demands, with its hydro power failing to serve its national demand quota, reverting to energy imports.

Solar power generation has much potential in Africa, with unlimited supply of sunlight. Countries like Kenya have made significant inroads in tapping the green energy source.

Ceasing the opportunity, Sol Emirates International has entered the market. The energy solutions firm has accumulated traceable expertise spanning 15 years — and executing in excess of 250 projects.

The journey to establish clean solar cities around the world, manipulating abundant solar energy began four years ago. While working in South Africa, the departed from his job in 2015, to embark on a daring journey, taking him to Abu Dhabi.

The Genesis

"After being employed in Johannesburg, South Africa, for a while, I left my job in 2015. The same year, I established Sol Emirates International. By 2016, a new branch was established in Zimbabwe," reveals, the company proprietor Bernard Ranga.

The company has so far embarked on an expansion drive to penetrate four nations in Zimbabwe, Kenya, Rwanda, and South Africa — with its base in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.

Plans to penetrate the Pakistan and Nigerian renewable energy markets are at an advanced stage. To date, it has partnered renowned companies such as Tesvolt, Franklin Electric, and Sunlight — to supply the best technology in solar lights, solar panels, solar battery — among others.

Solar background

Solar power is the conversion of energy from sunlight into electricity, either directly using photovoltaics (PV), indirectly using concentrated solar power, or a combination.

Concentrated solar power systems use lenses or mirrors and tracking systems to focus a large area of sunlight into a small beam. Photovoltaic cells convert light into an electric current using the photovoltaic effect.

Photovoltaics were initially solely used as a source of electricity for small and medium-sized applications, from the calculator powered by a single solar cell to remote homes powered by an off-grid rooftop PV system.

Commercial concentrated solar power plants were first developed in the 1980s. And to date, China possesses the highest solar capacity compared to any other nation in the world. Collectively, the Asian giant produces 130 GW of energy via solar power plants each year — enough to power the entire U.K. with clean energy.

Source - agencies

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