Simplifying Solar

Zimbabawe better served by solar assembly & manufacturing capacity Solarpro CEO says

By David Whitehouse

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Posted on April 15, 2022 04:00

Smoke rises from chimneys at Hwange Power station in Hwange
Zimbabwe’s Hwange power station, October 19, 2021. REUTERS/Philimon Bulawayo

Zimbabwe needs to develop its assembly and manufacturing capacity in solar panels and batteries to cut reliance on expensive equipment imports, Solarpro CEO Nyasha Chasakara tells The Africa Report.

The unreliability of grid supply means that people in Zimbabwe are moving to solar power “out of necessity” rather than a choice to avoid fossil fuels, Chasakara says in Harare. Transport is among the biggest costs for an importer of equipment, and Chinese products may be much higher specification than what the local market needs, he says. “There is nothing to stop a Zimbabwean company such as ourselves” from moving into assembly and manufacturing.

State-owned power utility Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority (ZESA) often resorts to load shedding lasting for eight hours or more per day as the country grapples with a generation deficit. The two major sources of power in the country are the Kariba hydropower plant, which is constrained by low water levels, and the Hwange thermal power station, which often has breakdowns due to a lack of investment. ZESA aims to add new coal-fired

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