BY MTHANDAZO NYONI
INDUSTRIALISTS have called on the business sector and individuals to adopt renewable energy sources as a long-term solution to the country’s power shortages.
Power utility, Zesa Holdings last week started a load-shedding regime that has seen businesses and households going for at least 10 hours without electricity after power generation at Kariba South Power Station was reduced to 358 megawatts (MW) from an average of 542MW.
The plunge in generation is due to low water levels in Kariba Dam.
“We need to encourage and push renewable energy solutions to mitigate our energy problems. All forms of energy including solar and so forth should be applied to relieve the problem of energy outages,” industrialist Delma Lupepe told NewsDay Business.
“It’s really a luxury, even for the private homes to use electricity to power their geysers. Almost nowhere in the world does this happen. Most of the developed, and even developing world, is using solar to power their geysers and in Zimbabwe, you will find that it’s only a fraction of people that are using solar for heating up their geysers.
“We need to conserve a bit of energy. There is a lot of wastage in the homes and in the businesses that could be saved and we don’t have to be in the situation where we have these serious power outages.”
Zimbabwe National Chamber of Commerce past president Davison Norupiri said during the day, companies can use generators to run office work and then do the work that needs more power during the night.
“Let’s utilise those schedules wisely and if there is need to introduce night shifts, let’s do it rather than let power go unutilised. Let’s make use of the power being generated.”
Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries president Sifelani Jabangwe said the power outages would cripple industry.
“It will affect output, especially taking into consideration that our operating capacity is currently restricted,” he said.
“What makes matters worse is that these power outages are happening during working hours, thereby affecting the manufacturing sector.
“There is definitely a need to find a way to get some imports into the country because our generation capacity at the moment is low.”